Retail is truly one of those industries where the competition is tough. What this means for you as a business owner is that you have to do everything in your power to keep your customers happy. While there are some things that are not that easy to change about your business, luckily, there are also a lot of things that are completely up to you and can do wonders in terms of customer retention. One of those things is customer service. Just like bad customer service can lose you half of your customers, according to a report by Microsoft, good customer service will bring you not only higher revenue but also increased brand loyalty. So, here are a few customer service tips that you should definitely implement.
Be friendly to customers
Showing a smile and being friendly won’t cost you a thing, but it means a lot in terms of how your customers perceive your business. Therefore, it all starts with the hiring process. Try to find people who are a good fit for your company culture and are inherently friendly – customers will sense whether their smile is genuine. A condescending tone is a great way to lose a customer forever and even gain a bad reputation, so make sure you train your staff to always be professional and show their best sides.
Be present but keep your distance
Customers don’t like it when you’re watching their every move, but at the same time, they will not be happy if they want to ask you a question and no employee is around to answer promptly. Therefore, you have to find the fine line between hovering and minding your own business. The smartest way to do this is by finding small tasks to occupy yourself with while staying visible for the customer in case they have a question. Knowing how to read body language can help out on this front a lot as you will be able to notice when a customer needs help right away.
Never say “I don’t know”
According to the report we mentioned in the beginning, being knowledgeable is one of the most valuable qualities of a representative, besides friendliness. To put it simply, “I don’t know” is never an acceptable answer to give to a customer. A lot of people seek out physical stores because they want a better look at a product and more information about it. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that your employees are ready to answer any question. And in case they really don’t know, it is much better to say something along the lines of “let me look that up for you” as the customer will feel more valued.
Do your best to offer the customer an alternative
It might happen that an item a customer is looking for is out of stock. However, make sure you show an extra effort instead of just turning them away. Double-check whether you might still have the product, even if it’s unlikely. Try to offer the customer alternatives that might still lead to a sale, or offer them to notify them immediately as soon as the product is back in stock. As long as you’re working with reliable partners who will always deliver on their promise such as companies like Style State, you can rest assured that the customer will be satisfied once they receive the product and they will remember the experience positively thanks to the attention and effort you devoted to them.
Don’t make them wait
There are few things that can turn off customers like long waiting times. Considering that they have many other options to choose from (not to mention they could also be shopping online) but they have decided to visit your shop, you don’t want to make them wait too long. If waiting times are not managed, there is a high chance the customer will change their mind and leave without making a purchase. In addition, since they have plenty of other places to go, they are unlikely to return to your store. So, when a customer is ready to check out, any other task can wait. If your store often gets busy, it’s worth developing a streamlined queueing and checkout system to improve the customers’ experience.
Thank your customers
Finally, a simple act in the form of saying “thank you” goes a long way in terms of customer experience, so make sure your employees say it genuinely, not mechanically. But saying thank you to customers after they have made a purchase is not the only way you can show your appreciation and make sure they will remember the experience fondly. You can thank customers for visiting your store as soon as they step in by offering them free samples, for instance. Moreover, you can offer them vouchers if they spend more than a certain amount of money in your store and thereby ensure they will come back.
Customer service is the core of good customer experience, no matter the industry. Do your best to follow the aforementioned tips and you’ll ensure your customers will only say good things about your business.