Companies are constantly reviewing their product lines to keep customers coming back. Since excellent and quality driven customer service delivery is a key success factor businesses need to be examining these processes as well. The ease of getting assistance before or after a sale will often drive the buying patterns for customers. Consider looking at these areas.
The Customer Buying Experience – How soon and enthusiastically are customer’s greeted upon entering the store? Sales and service employees should be present and visible to provide assistance with finding the right product and answering questions. Make sure employees are well trained in product lines and if necessary know where to look for answers. Make check out quick as possible and provided by friendly personnel. Let them know that they may be the last impression the customer will have of your business.
Accessibility to Customer Service Assistance – If a problem does arise with a purchase, be sure your customer service department is easy to engage. If a customer calls by phone, directions for routing to the right department through the phone system should be clear. For those returning to the store, signage needs to direct customers to the correct location to handle the issue. Don’t leave them guessing if they should proceed to a cashier or if there is a returns desk.
Service Policies – To set proper expectations, clearly document and display the company return and exchange policy. Is a receipt required? Is there an expiration of when a product can be returned? If possible printing this information on the receipt is a good practice. An excellent warranty and service department will complete the total customer experience with your business.
Customer Service Representatives – Train and coach employees on customer service regularly as they are your ambassador to the customer. When working issues, encourage team members to repeat the problem back to the customer demonstrating they are being understood. Additionally teach employees how to empathize and actively listen. For example, it can be obvious when a script is read over the phone leaving the caller with the feeling that they are just another number. When situations do get out of control, make sure that escalation procedures are clear.
Remember that the goal of any customer service department is to turn a negative situation into a win-win experience for both the company and customer.