Keeping a Smile on the Customer and the Employee


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The time for complaining about the general public is over for those that desire to be successful retailers. It is no longer a seller's market, and the average consumers is more educated and more savvy to the advertising world than ever before. The customer must be the first priority. If there are no customers, then there is no business. This goes for every industry, retail or not. This does not mean that associates should just bite their lip and deal with the general public's incessant demands while retraining the urge to scream or strangle. Retailers who deal with customer faces every day must find a new way to provide great customer care while keeping a positive attitude and enjoying the work. Here are just a few ways to look at customer service that can really lend some patience and enjoyment to the job. It is important to keep reminding employees and sales associates of these things in order to keep happy customers and happy representatives.

Customer care is a great way to keep repeating customers. If sales associates work for a commission or some kind of bonus, this may be the inspiration they need to insure the customer will come back and buy something again. Shoppers are known to request the same associate in a retail store because they feel like their experience went well last time and they feel more comfortable working with them now.

A slightly less common but equally helpful strategy for helping sales staff enjoy their jobs is to lead by example and provide extra service just for personal enjoyment. Open doors for customers as well as employees more often, or bring someone a coffee on their break. You can even spend an afternoon helping an associate restock the slatwalls, or rearrange a showcase and get to know them a little better. Being in the mind of good service starts with an attitude toward serving others in life, just because it feels good. Satisfying a customer, who was screaming with frustration in the moment before, can bring a great amount of satisfaction. Having a manager that displays this quality will impact the rest of the sales floor, and it is not a bad idea for the owner to partake as well.

When dramatic customer situations arise, customer service should be at its best, not its worst. Teach service employees to calmly and quietly listen to a customer's requests in their entirety, rather than quickly trying to identify the problem and fix it. Many customers simply want to be heard and sympathized with. Sometimes a situation may be irreversible, but it may still resolve happily if a customer feels understood and appreciated. Remember that this is a paying job, and while some people are beating up their aching muscles roofing a house, this job exercises the muscles of patience and the ability to problem solve.

Maybe there should be a time scheduled to talk about some of these things with managers or employees so that everyone can begin enjoying their jobs rather than dreading the general public. Similar to the restaurant industry, retailing is a consumer driven service industry and it provides the things that people need and desire to live their lives. Don't let negativity and resentment put a damper on customer service, it could end up crushing the business.

About the Author: Ron Maier is the Vice President of S & L Store Fixtures, a leading online provider of slatwalls , gridwalls, and other store fixtures . For more information, please visit .


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