Anne M. Obarski

Article Summary:

Ten areas you need to ensure are clean and bright to make a postive impact on your level of customer service for your retail operation.

Retail Customer Service: The Importance of Cleanliness

You may have fabulous merchandise to sell, but if you give the customer even one reason to assume that store cleanliness is not a priority, they will take their wallets elsewhere.

1. First Impressions Count
Is the parking area clean of litter and brightly lit? Is the entrance clean and inviting with a trash receptacle available?

2. Front Door Assumption
Is the glass clean and free of fingerprints? Customers will make the assumption if the front door is dirty the rest of the store may be the same.

3. Make it Glitter!
If it's glass or metal it must be clean. Make it a priority to dust and use glass cleaner every morning after vacuuming.

4. Shoulders to Knees
Customers notice the majority of "merchandising" between their shoulders and knees. Make those areas a priority of cleanliness.

5. Behind the Scenes
If the customer uses a fitting room, keep it spotless. 80% of a customer's buying decision happens in a fitting room. If you have a back stock area, keep it closed to the customer's eyes!

6. Necessary Rooms
Customers should be able to use your restrooms. Not only should it say "squeaky clean" to your customers but it also should say something about how you value your employees and their comfort level.

7. Clutter Free
Shipping boxes, pallets, rolling racks, shipping materials....anything needed for the operation of the store should be out of site or neatly stored away from the traffic flow in the store.

8. Ease of Shopping
Overstocking of merchandise can be overwhelming to the customer and they can "assume" your store is messy merely because of the volume of merchandise. How easy is it to get around your store? Can you get a stroller or wheelchair easily around the store?

9. Aroma
Does your store "smell clean"? Customers can make an assumption of whether a store is clean based on what they smell? If you have become to immune to any smell your store may have, ask friends or new employees to give you their opinion.

10. Register Area
The most important area of the store, no matter what kind, is the place you exchange your hard earned money for something you value, your purchase. Make it spotless!

Anne M. Obarski is "The Eye on Performance!" As a professional speaker and trainer, Anne helps companies focus on the profit building service strategies that will keep their customers coming back. Anne presents nationwide keynotes, break-out sessions and customized training in the area of customer service. She has written "Surprising Secrets of Mystery Shoppers" and "Real World Customer Service Strategies That Work". For more information visit her website at www.merchandise

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