Put Your Service to the Test

11 ways to deliver extraordinary customer service.
by : 

Kim Perkins

January 25, 2016
Marketing Mondays - Put Your Service to the Test

We've all have heard that great customer service is the key to success. This is true in any type of business, especially our niche of small, specialty retail stores. We know we can’t compete with the “big guys” on price. Our edge is in offering the best possible shopping experience, in which customers are valued and assisted by intelligent, knowledgeable staff. But, how do we create an extraordinary shopping experience so customers feel great, recommend us to their friends, and want to visit our store again and again? Start with a clean, inviting space with products of good quality and value for the price, add a mix of attractive displays and good signage, and we have a successful store, right? Not quite yet. We still need two key ingredients: a sense of welcome and an incredible staff who offer a concierge level of customer service.

Raise the bar

Sometimes it’s the small, simple things that make all the difference in taking good customer service to a level of greatness. Here are 11 great ways to take your customer service from so-so to extraordinary!

Remember to smile

A genuine smile carries with it a message of acceptance. It can even be “heard” over phone lines! Smiling sends a universal message of love.

Be kind

Always treat others well, even if they do not return the favor. Your kindheartedness will be remembered long after the customer leaves the store.

Listen attentively

Be present and focused. When you are engaging with a customer, give them your full attention. It is the best way to show respect for another human being.

Have a professional image

That doesn’t mean your employees have to dress up, but their attire should be clean, pressed, and fashionable. They represent you, and how they look and act is the impression your customers will hold about your store.

Maintain good posture

Silly? Maybe, but good posture conveys a positive attitude and slouching expresses disinterest and depression.

Keep the sales area tidy

Don’t eat or drink on the sales floor, and leave cell phones and purses in the back.

Keep chit-chat among staff to a minimum

It’s disrespectful to carry on a conversation with a co-worker when customers are present. Often customers will not interrupt and sales are lost. If a customer is present, they deserve your complete attention.

Let customers talk about themselves

Keep your personal sharing to a minimum. Let the focus be on them.

Don’t take it personally

There are a million reasons why customers might be irritable or cranky. Rather than react in any way, know it is not about you and let it go.

Exceed expectations

Make it a point to go above and beyond whenever the opportunity arises.

For more on how to deliver exceptional customer service, check out Kim's article, "Be Our Guest."

Kim Perkins writes and lectures on all aspects of retail and is the former co-owner of Elysian Fields, an award-winning book and gift store in Sarasota, Fla.