In many industries, customer service is the key to a successful business. As a sales associate, I am responsible for the experience customers have when they come to my department. I am normally not one to boast, but when it comes to customer service, I can. I am good. Customers do not leave me unhappy. Why? Because I will do everything it takes to make them happy with the service I provide.
People that I know, whether it be at school or work, have asked me how I am successful at making people happy. I have decided to put together a few tips that could increase 1. customer satisfaction and 2. your sales.
1. Be Visible and Smile– If you watch me at work, if I am not behind the register assisting a customer or somewhere in my department with a customer, I am standing in front of the register, in the isle, smiling and greeting every customer that comes near me. I have identified the path that most customers take to my department, and I stand right in the middle of it, not to be in their way, but to be visible.
2. Be Observant– We all know that a person can say a lot without words. Body language is a huge communicator and I have spent a lot of time learning how to read it. I normally see the customer before they see me, and I immediately start making observations. For example, if a person is on their cell phone, I normally do not spend much time on them. In my observations, people on their cell phone are not ready to be serious shoppers. I smile, and let them pass. If a person is alone and is walking quickly, they are typically in a hurry to get in and out (or they are needing the restroom) and that is a quick and easy sale. They want help, and I am there to provide that.
3. Be Patient Once You Are Engaged– Customers, especially the older ones, are indecisive. There are many choices in brands, sizes, colors, price points, etc. and it is their money they are spending, not mine. Therefore, being patient is critical. After understanding what it is that the customer is looking for, I show them options that fit their criteria and, if I can, one that meets their criteria, but has an additional feature or two that they did not mention but could be helpful. This takes the customer’s “needs” and adds a “want”. If item with the additional “want” is in a price range they are comfortable with, they are happier than they would have been otherwise and so am I.
*Hint- If there is a debate between husband and wife and they are not in good humor about it, explain that you are going to give them time to discuss it and step away. They do not want your input at this point and it will kill your sale if you take the wrong side. If there is a debate and it is in good humor, I normally side with the woman. Let’s face it, women like to be told they are right.
4. Do The Small Things– There are many things you can to do “add the icing to the cake”. Customer’s generally like you to carry their items to your register. Talk them through the process…they like to know what is going on every step of the way. Once the sale is complete, offer to walk the heavy things out to their vehicles. This is something that I do every chance I get, as most of my customers are women and I sell heavy products such as cookware sets, 12-piece bedding sets, king sized mattress toppers, etc. Carrying their items to the car is the respectful thing to do and they greatly appreciate it. In addition, at many stores, associates encourage customers to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. They will remember that you carried their stuff for them and you will get good comments.
5. Close The Experience– If the sale is going to end at the register, pay attention to the name on the credit card or check. Thank them by their last name. It shows you’ve taken an interest in who they are. You are also more likely to remember them next time if you use their name. Finally, ask if there is any thing else you can do to help them. They will either say “No, thank you.” and you will be done or they will say “Yes….” and you will assist them further.
Understand that what you build when you help a customer is a relationship. If you leave a good impression, you have built trust. They will tell their friends about you and your store. I cannot tell you how many repeat customers I get. Why do they come back to me? Because I make their day better than it was before they came to the store. One average, I would estimate that I spend five minutes with a customer; that is not long to build a relationship, but the steps discussed here should help tremendously if you give them a try.
Good luck on your next day in sales!
Thanks for reading!