What is it with customer service these days?
Upon being greeted and asked how I was doing when walking into a store, I fired back, “I’m doing great, and yourself?” to which I received the following replies:
“Only 3 more hours to go”
“I’m good, but it’s so slow in here, I’m actually bored”
And you’d think that the Home Store at the Wynn Las Vegas, the GAP and Circuit City would be able to hire better employees and implement training to ensure that the customer is getting the type of service they need.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
I’m going to pound this issue into the ground. It’s all about the customer. I remember when Safeway, a major West Coast chain of grocery stores (think Giant, Kroger, Winn Dixie or whatever chain is relevant to the area you live in) implemented a policy that when a customer asked where an item was located, the associate [with a smile on their face] said, “let me show you where that’s at.” And then they personally escorted you to the product you were looking for.
Now that’s customer service. And it’s the type of customer service that had everyone in San Francisco buzzing. When did anyone ever help you like that in a grocery store?
It comes down to training, following up and accountability. It just seems that retailers today are desperate just to find enough bodies to turn the lights on and open the store that nothing else matters.
But that’s not always the case. If Best Buy can offer great customer service with knowledgeable employees, then I’m not sure why other major retailers are unable to tackle the issue.
As small retailers, we should have the easiest time of all. After all, we’re only one or at most, a handful of stores.
Get cracking, come up with one customer service initiative you want to employ such as:
- Personally greet every customer
- Replace “Can I help you find something?” with another phrase
- Get employees to not hover behind the cash wrap [and in many cases, look up from their magazine and nod when a customer walks in]
- Ban cell phones on the sales floor
What are you doing to provide exemplary customer service?