Retailigence

“Club of Knowledge Hunters”

Understanding customer-service……

Posted by retailigence on August 29, 2008

According to the Harvard Business Review on exceptionally – satisfied customer is six times more likely to buy again as one who is merely satisfied. And only a 5% increase in customer loyalty can boost profit 25% to 85%. Jack Mackey, Franchising world, page-49.

It would be stupidity if I tell you the importance of customer service. Even the rickshaw puller or kerina shop or street hawker knows that how crucial it is.

They remember you by your face.

They know what you want.

They know how much you want a particular product.

They even know when you are going to need that product in future.


Is customer service is all about greeting customer with a smile……?

When I asked a lady shopping at a hyper market – “what do you expect from the sales-staff?” She replayed “Every sales-staff should know about all the different departments, like which product is kept where and promotions (discount & schemes) going on in those departments”

It is not just how we behave with the customer on the floor. In-fact it is the perfect combination of product knowledge, knowledge about shop floor, knowledge of exchange policy, knowledge about system (IT), knowledge about stock room & back hand operation, body language and grooming standard of a sales-staff, apart from merchandise, store-layout, store-design, store-atmospherics and visual merchandising.

Customer always prefers efficient and speedy service with a smile…….!

A customer service manager/coach needs to have a thorough understanding of all different departments. It is quite obvious that if you had support of a good coach, then, you will give same supportive and helpful hand to your sales-staff.

Customer service coaching also includes:-

* Motivation
* Counseling
* Handling grievances of sales-staff
* Job rotation
* Delegation of different work
* Control of physical stock

What sorts of support do people expect from their boss? A recent survey showed that the following activities are highly valued by team members.
1. One-to-one coaching and instruction.
2. Praise & encouragement.
3. Appraisal & review of performance.
4. Listening, counseling, & helping to solve problems.
5. Discipline – when necessary.
Retail management, Peter Fleming, Page-29

A motivated, intelligent, skilled and happy sales-staff can give you wonderful result. It is most likely that a motivated sales-staff will stay with the company for long period of time as compare to de-motivated and the motivation will leads into reduction of employee pilferages as well.

Manager should consult and involve sales-staff in arrangement or rescheduling of rotas, holiday or lunch-breaks, this will helps in building team spirit and a level of responsibility among sales-staff.

All managers/coaches should give training a top priority above all. The more the sales-staff knows, the easier it is to build trust and gain the confidence of the customer. Successful manager/coach builds up a close relationship with their staff and it is important to work as a team with all sales-staff. As we all know that in a team, every individual have different expectation, fear, hope and need. If your sales-staff is going through trauma (personal or professional) it is very difficult them to concentrate at work.

“What keeps customer coming back and spreading the good word as they do – is the product knowledge and enthusiasm that can only be conveyed face to face”.IMAGES RETAIL, July 2008, Page-58

Written By:- Suresh Kr. Singh

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