Counting down holiday shopping days: Great customer service needed

MallThe National Retail Federation estimates the average jolly holiday shopper will conservatively spend $750 for family and friends this season. Of course that includes gifts, decorations, and greeting cards which we all like to share as the joys of the season take over our common sense. What we don’t like however, are problems with the merchandise or services we purchase. Therefore customers are more likely to shop at the competition when customer service perfection fails. Sadly the loss of business can be from one bad experience and how it is handled, so the pressure’s on.

For many shoppers, the local mall is the venue of choice for holiday gifts. There’s convenience in parking, a wide selection of merchandise, and often last minute sales¬† even beat the price of online shopping. The most popular products for gifts include toys, electronics, and clothing, and here is where retailers definitely find it imperative to put their best foot forward to not only lure shoppers into their stores, but build up enough confidence and satisfactions that these shoppers will want to return – perhaps even in January when sales notoriously slump. And even though customers always want to cut corners when it comes to getting a bargain, never underestimate the power of excellent customer service.

When time is almost always at a premium, statistics have stayed constant showing shoppers still willing to pay extra for superior customer service. If two stores in the mall carry the same merchandise, but one store excels in pleasing customers and presents that ‘wow” experience we all dream of when shopping, customers still swing towards the near perfect experience. So what are some of the customer service “need to master” skills in order to create that exceptional experience ? Here are the top three:

  • Be enthusiastic when customers enter your store. Make customers feel comfortable – not necessarily by overwhelming them by trailing them around the store, but be helpful. Is there no better feeling when shopping then not having to search around an entire store for the product and having a sales representative available to answer questions or help a shopper find a specific size or color? Customer service representatives should like their jobs; it’s quite apparent when an employee is just counting down the hours until their shift is over. Have a great training program, and hire the best you can afford. It’s not about having warm bodies to ring up sales; it’s about having employees who add to the importance of your business by representing it with knowledge, honesty, and enthusiasm.
  • Customer service representatives should be thoroughly familiar with what their business offers. The sales process begins with listening to the customer to find out what they want and need. When a talented salesperson is able to advise, lead a customer and then help them make the best choice, customers appreciate the effort. Great customer service isn’t about over selling, it’s about filling the need with the most appropriate product or service and doing it with patience, efficiency, and grace.
  • Never forget to show your customer or client you appreciate their business and their loyalty. That ever important “thank you” reminds people they are individuals and each time they enter your store you are appreciative of their business and will always strive to do your best to meet their needs.

While the crush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, consumers always remember the best shopping experiences – including prices, quality, and customer service experiences. Be one of those exceptional providers and watch your business continue to grow.

Photo from Flickr

 

2 Responses to “Counting down holiday shopping days: Great customer service needed”

  1. Branden said:

    Dec 13, 12 at 3:28 pm

    Having enthusiastic employees is an awesome way to create brand loyalty. One of the best ways I’ve seen this done is when employees offer to walk customers through the store to familiarize them with the variety of products offered. I know when I experienced this as a customer, I was much more willing to spend a few extra dollars in the store.

    Keep up the great work. Thank you for being a part of the customer service revolution.

  2. cindy penn said:

    Dec 28, 12 at 6:05 am

    Customer is the company’s greatest asset. Thus, customer deserves to served well or else he will stay from the company find another one where he finds comfort. we all know that customers are willing to pay more to find comfort and great customer service.