Imagine that you walked into a store on a bright, sunny afternoon. There are two young, female employees and each is working with a customer. There is one other customer who’s waiting and appeared to have walked in just a short while before you entered the store.
You do not know if anyone acknowledged her presence.
You walked in. No one glanced at you to say the customary “Welcome to XYZ.”
That was my experience earlier this week.
I stood in one line while the other lady stood in the other line. At no time did either of the employees raise their eyes and even acknowledge us. Of course, I saw that they were busy and I had a choice. I could wait or I could come again another day because, while I needed some help with my device, it was not urgent.
Since I’d already take the time to drive there, I decided to wait. During the 12minutes I was in the store neither employee raised their eyes to even glance at us. Neither did they offer a simple statement, “We will be with you shortly.”
Why is greeting customers important?
One of the basic rules of excellent customer service is that you always greet or acknowledge the person who is in front of you.
If you’re working with other customers, simply say a ‘Hello’ and let the customer know that you will be with her as soon as possible.
If you’re on the telephone with another customer, you want to make sure you turn to the customer in the store and acknowledge her. Very often you don’t need to put the person you’re speaking with on hold. By simply making eye contact with the person you can inaudibly inform the customer you’ll be with them soon.
One study revealed that 68% of customers who leave a retail store without making a purchase did so because they felt like no one cared that they were there.
Failure to say a greeting and acknowledge the customer who walks into your retail establishment could convey, as it did in my case, suggest that the young women did not care whether I was there or not. They were not concerned about my needs nor showed any interest in solving any issue I had.
Since the main reason for going into this type of store is to make a purchase or get a solution to a problem, this lack of customer service could have an impact on customer’s buying decisions.
This incident happened in a large mobile phone company’s stand-alone store. Five of my family members and myself have our mobile phone service with this company. As a huge conglomerate, they would not miss the business from six people.
However, imagine in this was a business owned by a small business owner! Losing business from one person is bad enough because the Lifetime Value of that one customer could be significant. But imagine if a small business lost business from six persons at one time, and repeat business at that! It could have a significant impact on their bottom line.
Training and Evaluation
Customer Service training cannot be a one-time thing. From time to time people have to be retrained.
In an article on retail.com the author made this succinct statement: “When a customers’ experience in your store was crappy, they won’t be back.”
What are you doing to make sure that your employees deliver excellent customer experiences in your retail store?
To get more tips on building relationships with customer, download my Special Report, “Relationship Marketing: Key to Small Business Success.”