Chamber Blog

Customer Service - Is It Still Out There?

As we wrap up 2015 and begin a new year it may be a good time to reflect on your customer service model. Is it as good as it can or should be?

 

As a small business owner, I am very tuned in on service. It is one of the very reasons I started my business " I am passionate about building relationships and making a difference in my client’s business lives. I find it curious that one of the fundamental building blocks of business - creating a good and memorable service experience is all-too-often lacking.

 

This past weekend I stopped in to Fleet Farm to pick up some treats for my dogs - my favorite place to shop for them. As I stood in the checkout line, I watched the young man assisting each customer. It was clear he is required to ask certain questions about the shopping experience and also to create awareness of some of their services. He rattled everything off so quickly, that the customers could not understand what he said. He repeated the information just as quickly the second time around. No eye contact whatsoever. It appeared that he didn’t care about the messages he was conveying. I’m sure his conversion rate on new credit cards, hunting and fishing licenses and actually creating a pleasant shopping experience are nearly non-existent. Perhaps he was just having a bad day. Think of the number of negative interactions he may have had during a busy December day. How might that impact Fleet Farm’s sales performance?

 

Retake. Imagine this experience just a little differently. This same young man greeted his customers with a warm smile, looking them in the eyes, and asked “Did you find everything you were looking for?” The customer will likely smile back " it’s infectious. Then caringly as he starts to scan the items, asked if they would like to save 10% on their purchase today. It may seem more genuine and like he truly cares about helping them save on their purchase. As he nears the end of the sale " still smiling reminds the customer that hunting and fishing licenses are available for purchase at the customer service counter, with a warm smile. Then finally extends a wish for a good day " with eye contact. Do you think he may have better up-sale and cross-sale results? Even if his customers don’t buy anything additional, they will likely leave feeling like they just had great service.

 

I experience poor customer service more often than I care to acknowledge. In fact, I have seen business fail because they completely overlooked defining a service model.

Just a few small changes in customer interactions can make a world of difference in business. I often refer to it as the secret sauce to success. People can choose to make purchase from many difference sources. Often it is the service that keeps them coming back. They may even be willing to pay more!





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