The conventional wisdom that customer service is about having friendly and knowledgeable employees has not changed.
Your customers expect that to always be the case.
Today excellent customer service means putting your customers’ needs before your own, and taking care of your customers before and after the sale.
What Customer Service Is Not
Most will agree that customer service is not greeting prospective customers at the door and then stalking them around your store as they take in your inventory to determine if they are going transact with you.
This is not customer service. This is prospecting or marketing.
Everything you and your employees do to achieve a sale is more or less marketing.
You’ve told the prospect on the radio that your prices are the best. You show them in the weekly flyer. And then your team attempts to show them again when they walk through your door.
Up to this point, the prospect is not a customer. You haven’t begun serving your customer until after the sale occurs.
What Customer Service Is
Customer service is about showing loyalty and genuine appreciation for the trust your prospect has given you.
Customer service begins at the transaction and beyond.
- What sort of feelings have you given the new customer that they are making the correct choice giving you their dollars?
- Do they feel like you have their back during and after the sale?
- Do you inspire confidence that you will follow through on your guarantees, service pledge, and your mission statement?
This is customer service!
If you want customers for a lifetime then let them feel their life matters to you.
Take Care of Your Customer Before the Sale
During check out, are your employees really paying attention to what is purchased? Or are they just sliding everything through the scanner?
Have you used employee assessments to screen employees’ critical thinking, verbal, and other essential skills to ensure your staff can competently serve your customers? Are your employees trained and empowered to better a customer’s purchase even if it means recommending a different or less expensive product?
Is the employee allowing the customer to purchase something that won’t work for the intended application? By simply being interested and engaged with the customer, your business can do right by your customer and make that transaction worth talking about to other prospects.
Take Care of Your Customer After the Sale
Can your business follow up with a customer in a way that is helpful and empathetic?
Follow-up is especially important with large purchases, but you can apply it to almost anything.
Good follow-up reduces the anxiety that prospects feel when forced to make choices in today’s crowed marketplace. Your customers know they can count on you to truly care about them even after the sale has occurred.
By ensuring your customer feels that you appreciate their business and that you are there for them beyond today, you will begin the process of creating a customer for life.
Retain More Customers with Great Customer Service
As important, if not more important than your marketing budget is your employee and customer engagement training budget.
How fantastic would it be to be able to reduce your marketing efforts because you and your employees are able to retain more customers more often?