Good retail customer service doesn’t just happen, and like losing weight or perfecting your golf game, it takes focus and dedication. Goals like improving retail customer service in your store should start with measured steps. But before you formulate a plan, remember that good customer service is an unending endeavor that requires constant improvement.
To begin developing a strategy to improve your store’s retail customer service you need to diagnose its major flaws. In order to do that however, you must have a clear understanding of what retail customer service entails. Discovery-Based Retail, the book, includes the following definition of retail customer service; “Customer service is the sum of the acts and elements that allow consumers to receive what they need or desire from your retail establishment.” As you read this definition you may begin to realize that customer service is much wider in scope than you had ever imagined and actually begins before your customers even enter your store. With this clairity you can begin to determine the critical issues to approach first. In this abbreviated format, however I will discuss customer service as viewed in the traditional sense.
Most retail managers recognize their store’s weaknesses through observation. For example, a store with low transaction sizes or deserted shopping carts, could point to anemic retail customer service. Perhaps your store is understaffed or has an inadequately prepared sales staff . As you read Discovery Based Retail you will learn the elements that are necessary for a transaction to occur—one part of the selling equation is “want and need”. Shoppers enter your store with wants or needs, and a properly trained sales staff can help bring those sell opportunities to fruition..
Take steps to educate your employees on the following topics: product knowledge, product location with in your store, customer etiquette, and basic sales techniques. Schedule regular meetings with your staff to discuss these topics and your retail customer service satisfaction levels will grow by leaps and bounds. All stores from time to time have experienced poor retail customer service. Whether customers were left waiting in check out lines or simply did not receive satisfactory assistance, poor retail customer service experiences create lasting negative impressions. It is your job as manager to see that such experiences are the exception and not the rule in your store.
Learn more about improving your store’s retail customer service by reading Discovery Based Retail.