By Norm Rose, Excel Sales Consulting
With all the ways COVID-19 has changed how we do business day to day, your stores are likely looking a little different today than in the past. However, your levels of customer service should be as high, or even higher than ever.
Yet, customer service errors like the following are still commonplace.
- Failure to acknowledge a customer as soon as they walk into the store.
- Poor time management and organizational skills, which result in inefficiencies, staff dissatisfaction and wasted time.
- Lacking a professional appearance and attitude.
- Staff that seems uninterested in the relationship and needs of the customer.
Unfortunately, these practices not only lead to fewer (or even no) sales, but they also greatly reduce the chance that you will ever hear from that customer again. There are simple things that you can do that not only keep sales occurring but will also strengthen your relationships with customers.
1. Always look professional, clean, and well put together.
Because of Covid-19, this includes a face mask, but it also means clean, wrinkle-free clothing and combed, neat hair. It is important to look the part. As they say, “If you look good, you will do good.” Besides, looking the part is something you should do not only for your customer or your manager; it will actually make you feel much more confident about the day ahead.
2. Care about the relationships you have with your customers.
Remember that in these unprecedented times, your customers have come to you for help. Treat them with compassion, listen to their needs, go the extra mile and stay cheerful. The less you follow professional (sometimes thought of as common-sense) practices, the more another company will. As I teach in my training, “Remember, your best customers are your competitor’s best prospect.”
3. Keep the negative talk for private one-on-one meetings.
This is a place where grievances can be voiced in a controlled environment and where there is an opportunity for something to actually be done about the issue. Coach each other. When you are behind the counter in the store, it is time to focus on the customer.
4. Always be interested in the customer’s business.
Ask them questions! If needed, take notes (ask for permission first). The more you know about their needs, the more you will be able to come up with solutions to their needs. This will strengthen your relationship with them, because they will know that you care about them succeeding.
It takes 21 days to make a habit of something. If you practice all of these relationship-building habits, I have no doubt that you will see an increase in your sales numbers.
If you are looking to exceed customer expectations, Excel Sales consulting has an online training program that will fit your needs. Our Inside Sales and Customer service online course is a fast-paced training program customized for inside sales personnel.
Norm Rose is the president of Excel Sales Consulting. He has been providing sales, customer service and leadership training to managers and employees around the world since 2001. He is an expert in tailoring training to meet specific client’s needs and providing his students with the right resources to become outstanding sales and customer service professionals.