Everyone expects good, no, excellent customer service when they go to a store of any sort – grocery stores, department stores, bridal boutiques, restaurants, and so on. We as customers may feel robbed if we go to an event or location and receive subpar service in exchange for our hard-earned money. We all expect and demand excellent customer service and will take action when we don’t get it.
But what about when you’re on the other side of the fence? What if YOU are the one providing substandard services to your customers? Do you honestly believe they will think, “Aww, maybe he’s having a bad day,” or “Maybe I’m expecting too much at that store”? Unfortunately for you, not many customers will think of you as a normal human being with emotions and a life of your own when they’re in your store. They will think of you as someone who is helping them with their purchases. They want excellent service, and they want it now.
Before you go writing off customers as selfish and demanding, why not put yourself in the customer’s shoes first and see how you’d feel if YOU got bad customer service.
Here’s a personal experience I had with bad customer service. I was checking out at a local grocery store, piling my groceries onto the conveyer belt. All fifty-four items (totaling $85.15) were scanned and then bagged by the checker. I processed my debit card and then realized that, up until this moment, the checker had made zero conversation with me. There was no “hello,” no “how are you,” no “these brownies look good.” Nothing. In fact, no one in the store had acknowledged me at all!
After I processed my debit card, I turned to the checker and said, “Aren’t you even going to say ‘thank you’?” He tore off the receipt, handed it to me, and said, “It’s on the bottom of your receipt.”
I decided to write to the President of the company, explaining my experience. I sent the letter, waited two weeks, but there was no reply. So, I sent letter two with letter one attached, describing the incident once again – still no reply. So, I typed up letter three with the first two letters and wrote, “I now understand that the nut doesn’t fall from the tree. The words ‘customer service’ are non-existent in your and your staff’s vocabulary. Poor service begins right at the top, and I will never again shop at any of your stores.”
I have told that story to thousands and thousands of people. The story itself is almost unbelievable. Everyone says, “The least he could have said is ‘hello.” Yes, that is the least, but why are we thinking about the least? I mean, do you know anyone who actually wants to be the least at his or her profession?
Now, does this happen to you at your store? Are you yourself at fault for behaving this way toward customers at your job? Do you want to know what you need to do to WOW your customers? The answer is simple – be in the moment!
“How can I be in the moment at work with my customers?” you may ask. Check out the following tips for helping you stay focused on your customers and providing the best customer service you can:
- After you finish dealing with the previous customer, make eye contact with the next customer and apologize for the wait, no matter how long it was.
- Ask your customers if they found everything they needed while they place their items on the conveyer belt. If they said no, then find someone who can help with locating the item or items they couldn’t find.
- Be sure to make small talk with your customer! No one wants to be served by someone who won’t even talk to them! Be observant of your customer – comment positively on their clothing or their items. If they have a jersey of their favorite football team on, for example, you could mention the game from last Sunday or that your cousin is a fan, too. If your customer has brought children with him or her, be sure to take a moment to ask how they are.
The point is to be in the moment! Don’t think about the past or the future when serving others – be in the moment and provide them with excellent customer service!
- This final tip is a biggie for EVERYONE – when your customers are leaving, acknowledge it with gratitude for their patronage. Thank them for visiting your store and that you look forward to their next visit.
If you follow my tips when you’re at work, I guarantee you will have happier customers who will continue to return and spend their money at your store. And don’t doubt that they won’t tell others of your excellent (or inferior) service – they will!
Do you want more tips on how to be in the moment to provide superior customer service? Check out my website at www.customerserviceandbeyond.com. I look forward to your visit! In the meantime, remember to stay in the moment!