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Retail Customer Service: Tips For Improving Your Level Of Service

If you work with clients in retail, admit a bet at the list and ask yourself how closely you follow the rules. 1. Smile when greeting a client personally and on-duty the phone (and yes, they can tell if you are smiling over the telephone!). 2. Use age-appropriate greetings, and avoid concerning to more honest-to-god clients and chars every bit guys. 3. Be proactive and ask how you perhaps of service. 4. Stay visible and available, but do not levitate. Five. Do not deflect, romp, commencement to brand a phone call, or duck beneath the counter as a customer approach path*. (Weve all had it happen to us.) 6. The live client standing inward breast of you accepts precedency complete someone who calls on the phone. 7. Never judge a book by its coverall clients merit attention no matter of their age or coming into court. 8. Leave food and beverages in the break room. 9. A client does not prefer to discover just about your approaching break of serve. 10. Makes any personal birdsongs when you are on a break in and out of earshot. 11. The correct reply embodies never I do not acknowledge unless you add to it, but I can find out for you. 12. If a client desires something that Is not on reveal, blend in to the stock room and try to find it. 13. If the item isnt in the stock room, go to anticipate some other hive away or order it. 14. Learn to read body lyric to assure if a client dismissed use some help 15 Do Do not allow gossipy emptors monopolize your clock time if others are waiting. 16. Call for backup support if lines are forming. 17. Be discrete if a client credit bill of fare is rejected by asking if there is another method of payment he or she would like to use. 18. Never discuss emptors in front of former emptors (theyll wonder what you are alleging astir them erstwhile they bequeath).

19. Inspect merchandise before sacking it to be sure it is not defective or the wrong size. 20. Be sure clients have everything theyve compensated for in front they leave your store. 21. Smile as youre alleging au revoir and encourage the client to come again.
=== 5 Ways to Properly Greet a Customer by Sozo Firm Staff on September 1, 2010

When entering a store, most customers want to see an employee make a genuine effort to acknowledge and assist them. As a customer in a hurry, I might be just looking for one specific item and may need the assistance of the employee. However, if I am ignored and my time is wasted waiting for help, I will move on to another store. With so many online and physical retail options available now, if that first store doesnt satisfy my needs, there is always another one that will. That store may very well have sold the product or service I was looking for. However, poor customer service cost them the sale.

Greeting the customer can often be the most important aspect to closing a sale. Take these 5 tips to ensure your customers never walk out your door dissatisfied:

1) Smile with your greeting

Sam Walton was probably onto something when he hired employees to specifically greet customers entering the store. Customers want to hear words of greeting and see a smile. If the employee at the door appears grumpy and doesnt even offer a simple Hello. Welcome to Wal-Mart the customer will most likely start their shopping experience off in the wrong mood.

2) Stop what you are doing

Yes, you may be stocking the shelves or taking inventory. While these jobs are important to the everyday functions of the company, your customer is the reason you are stocking those shelves. A customer should be greeted within 30 seconds of entering your store. Stand up from your task and offer a smile and words of greeting. After offering assistance, you can return to the shelves.

3) Show, Dont Tell

When the customer enters your store, they will most likely inquire about a specific product. Rather than sending them to aisle 19, somewhere near the middle, on the 5th-7th shelf down, walk with them to the aisle. Take the time to show them exactly where the product is. It will only take a few seconds and your customer will appreciate your time and effort.

4) Ask Questions

Consider a hair salon that stocks dozens of different products that offer many different functions. If a customer comes in and wants hairspray, selling them just any hairspray wont do. You may specifically ask them the type of hold, scent, and liquid, spritz, or mist they are looking for. Rather than deal with a customer complaint when the product doesnt serve the desired function, take a moment to ask further, often imperative questions.

5) Dress Professionally

Because you will be the first face that a prospective customer sees, be sure to dress and act professionally. Avoid wearing provocative outfits that may offend customers. Rather, choose conservative, professional outfits that are appropriate for your work environment. If you present a neat, groomed appearance, your customers will feel more comfortable during a sales transaction.

The second a prospective customer walks through the door, they will be analyzing many aspects of your business. Be sure to offer them a warm, professional greeting, assistance, and quality customer service. Ignoring or downplaying their importance is dangerous for your companys success. As Sam Walton once said, There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

About Sozo Firm

Sozo Firm helps startup companies, small to mid-sized businesses & nonprofit organizations thrive through developing and implementing business optimization strategies. Our efficiency consulting addresses business processes, customer service, employees, marketing, public relations, and communication. Our internet strategy consulting addresses website usability, reputation management, social media, and internet marketing. Contact our senior consultant, Andrew Jensen, at 800.460.SOZO to learn how we can serve you === =

Here is a question for all of you. As a customer, how many of you have had a bad customer service experience? Hmmmm. Looks like it's all of you. So think about it, if all of you have had a bad experience, it means that most likely all of your customers have had one too. If your customers have had a bad experience, then consciously or unconsciously, they are affected by it. Have you ever noticed that some customers come in with an attitude a chip on their shoulder or an emotional wall up? In these situations, when your customers are on the offense, like so many other service providers, you end up feeling defensive. But, it isn't necessarily about you. It is based on another experience with another person they have dealt with. So what can you do to remove the chip and break down the wall? Greet your customers warmly and sincerely. A truly warm welcome can be totally disarming. Imagine walking into a restaurant and being greeted as a friend or member of the family someone who was grateful to have you walk in to their place. No matter how good the meal was, you would still be happy you went there. The experience would have been positive enough that you would gladly give them another try. Even though greeting your customer sounds so basic, aren't you amazed at how often people fail to do this properly, leaving you feeling ignored and poorly treated? Remember you only have about five seconds to create an impression make sure it is a good one! A good greeting not only starts things off on the right foot, it can also build a strong foundation for the future. So, what are the elements of a good greeting? 1. First, do an attitude check. Before you start your workday, do a personal inventory: How you are feeling? Are you tense? Are you rested? Did you just have a frustrating drive in to work? Did you have an argument with someone? Be aware of how you are feeling and what you are thinking and leave any negative emotions at the door. Youll find it is too hard to automatically treat others well when you are battling with your own problems. 2. Immediate customer recognition. Don't wait even a couple of minutes to acknowledge your guests presence. If you are in proximity of your customer, say hello. If you are with another customer you can still acknowledge them. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for someone to notice you. A simple nod of the head, eye contact or a brief comment will let the person waiting know that you have seen them and will soon be with them .Whether you are the janitor or the CEO, say hello to the customer as soon as you can. No matter what your position youre in the customer service business. 3. Make the greeting warm and sincere. Customers have sincerity radar. They can tell if you are faking it. One of the best ways to ensure that your greeting is warm and sincere is by expressing your gratitude. If you are not truly grateful that this person chose your

establishment, you need to remember where your paycheck is REALLY coming from. The more that you can feel appreciative that this person has decided to do business with you, the better you will treat them. 4. Handshakes are optional. It is usually standard practice to make sure that EVERYONE gets a handshake, but the fact is, there are many cultures that find a handshake offensive. With the world getting more culturally diverse, the best tip is to wait with your hands at your side until the customer makes the first move and then respond by doing what they do, whether its a handshake, a hug or a bow 5. Avoid asking, "How may I help you?" In a sales situation, this question allows the customer to say, "just looking", at which point you are already at a disadvantage. Its better to start off with, "How are you? or a compliment on something they are wearing, such as, "great glasses, where did you get them? or even a comment on the weather. Conversations like these can often help you start building rapport. But if your customer doesn't like small talk get to the point quickly. 6. Understand your customer. Begin your relationship with the true goal of finding out their wants and needs and then try to make sure that you fulfill them. Working with this goal foremost in your mind will help define every action you take. No matter what your business, your customer has needs that are spoken and unspoken. This means that you need to listen carefully. Listen with your ears, eyes, heart and mind. Listen to the words they are saying, observe their body language, listen to their tone to understand the emotional content, and be aware of what is not being said. Effective listening will help you deeply understand your customer. If your goal is to meet and exceed their needs, you can create a loyal customer who will tell their friends and family about you and your business. Following these six steps will help you start building greater rapport and trust with your customers. The sooner you build rapport and trust, the sooner you can remove that chip from their shoulder or start tearing down their wall and create a "customer for life." Laurie Brown is an international speaker, trainer and consultant who ideas help people improve their sales, service and presentation skills. She is the author of The Teleprompter Manual, for Executives, Politicians, Broadcasters and Speakers. Laurie can be contacted through www.thedifference.net, or 1-877.999.3433, or at lauriebrown@thedifference.net 50 Marketing Ideas for Retailers (Part 1) Creative Marketing Ideas (#1-25) By Shari Waters, About.com Guide .See More About:creative marketing ideaspromotional eventsincreasing retail salestips for selling products Sponsored Links Customer Loyalty Software

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Marketing Ideas Go where CMOs go for new ideas. Expert blogs. Videos. Research. Go! www.TheCMOSite.com Retailing Ads Retail Marketing Ideas Retail Stores Jobs Retail Merchandising Tips Retail Business Plan Do you have a marketing idea? At the end of this article, you can Share Your Ideas with others.

Small business owners can easily get too involved in the day-to-day operations of their retail stores to spend any time brainstorming marketing ideas or promotional events. Some retailers worry that marketing is too expensive, others may find it too time consuming. Without announcing who you are and what you sell, how will anyone know? Here are 50 marketing ideas for retailers.

1. Create a calendar for customers with your shop's name and address on it.

2. Print the products you sell or services offered on the back of your business cards.

3. Always carry business cards with you. Give them freely and ask permission to leave them in places your target market may visit.

4. Join a trade association or organization related to your industry.

5. Have a drawing for a product or a gift certificate. Use the entry forms to collect customers' mailing addresses.

6. Develop a brochure of services your shop offers.

7. Conduct monthly clinics about a product or service you offer or schedule semi-annual seminars on related "how-to" information for your industry.

8. Print a tagline for your business on letterhead, fax cover sheets, e-mails and invoices.

9. Develop a website to showcase your products, services and location. Use a memorable URL and include it on all marketing materials.

10. Include customer testimonials in your printed literature.

11. Promote yourself as an expert by writing articles or tips on topics related to your industry.

12. Submit to the local newspaper, trade journal or other publications.

13. Host an after-hours gathering for your employees and their friends/relatives.

14. Provide free t-shirts with your logo to your staff to wear.

15. Send newsworthy press releases as often as needed.

16. Create an annual award and publicize it.

17. Develop your own TV show on your specialty and present it to your local cable station or public broadcasting station.

18. Create a press kit and keep its contents current.

19. Use an answering machine or voice mail system to catch after-hours phone calls. Include basic information in your outgoing messages such as business hours, location, website, etc.

20. Join a Chamber of Commerce where you can network with area business owners.

21. Hold an open house. Invite prominent city officials and the press.

22. Get a memorable local or toll-free phone number.

23. Place ads in publications your market reads. Be sure to reach the non-English speaking market as well.

24. Distribute specialty products such as pens, mouse pads, or mugs with your store's logo.

25. Advertise in creative locations such as park benches, buses, and popular Web sites.
26. Improve your building signage.

27. Get a booth at a trade show or expo attended by your target market. 28. Give a speech or volunteer for a career day at a high school. 29. Sponsor an Adopt-a-Highway area in your community to keep roads litter-free. 30. Donate your product or service to a charity event or auction. 31. Have a Yellow Pages ad listed under your main industry and in related categories. 32. Volunteer your time to a charity or non-profit organization. 33. Create a loyalty program to reward existing customers. 34. Create an opt-in email or print newsletter for your customers. Fill each edition with specials, tips and other timely information. 35. Send hand-written thank you notes to important customers every chance you get. 36. Use brightly colored envelopes and unique stationary when sending direct mail pieces. 37. Show product demos or related videos on a television on the sales floors during store hours. 38. Book a celebrity guest for an event at your store. Use people in your industry or television news anchors or local authors. 39. Create window displays in locations away from your shop. Airports, hospitals, and large office buildings occasionally have display areas they rent to local businesses. 40. Team up with a non-competing business in your area to offer a package promotion. 41. Pick the slowest day of the week to hold a one-day sale. 42. Create a warm, welcoming waiting area for your customers. 43. Provide extra customer service training for your staff. 44. Sign up for a newsletter or join online discussion groups in your industry. 45. If possible, loan your facilities to other groups for a meeting place. 46. Create a unique lapel pin based on the products you sell to wear at meetings. 47. Choose a regular customer to spotlight as a Customer of the Month. Create a brief write up to submit to the local newspaper about the customer and be sure to give he or she a copy of the article as well as have one framed to hang in the store. 48. Pair up slow moving items with related products and repackage as a special buy.

49. Start a blog. Write about your industry or detail in-store happenings. 50. Offer your customers discounts for each referral they provide. Marketing is most effective if done in coordination with other exposure. Enhance the above efforts with additional signage, newspaper ads, displays and radio ads. Remember to tailor each event for your target audience. If your message isn't being delivered to the right person, it may be a wasted effort.

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