SAY HELLO. It seems fundamental to basic customer service doesn’t it?
When you say hello it’s so rare it surprises customers when it actually happens.
I discovered a new fashion boutique during my holiday in Noosa. I was in the change room trying a great new pair of jeans and heard the staff member say “hello, how are you today” to a new customer who had walked in to the shop.
The staff member continued and asked if she could help the lady with anything in particular, she described the layout of the shop to the customer, including the details of the 50% off sale they had on items in a selected area. The customer thanked her and continued browsing.
After a few minutes I stepped out of the change room and saw the customer wandering towards the door. As she was leaving the shopper turned around to the shop assistant and said “thank you for acknowledging that I was in your shop and for making me feel welcome, have a great afternoon” and then left.
The staff member was surprised at being thanked and thought it an odd thing to say.
I couldn’t help myself and chimed in – “you might think it is odd, but I have entered four shops either side of you before visiting here and not one person acknowledged that I was even in their shop – no hello, no “can I help you”, no “isn’t this rain awful” (it was pouring rain in Noosa when I was there), no chit chat at all. When I walked in here, you smiled, said hello and engaged in some conversation – I felt welcome.”
Simple conversation. Simple thing to do. Just say hello.
It reminded me of something really valuable that is often forgotten these days in retail – retailers need to remember that they are familiar with their own space, but visitors are not.
Think about the last time you entered an unfamiliar retail environment, it can be a little daunting especially if there are multiple sales people watching your every move like hawks.
Help people shop – Help to make people as comfortable as possible by engaging them in a short conversation, providing them with a guide to navigating their way around the store (just explain it to them – they don’t need a GPS) and point out specific features such as “specials”, new season stock or bundling deal (two for one, or buy one get the second half price). Customers are more likely to purchase from you if you tell them how.
Don’t rip off your customers – If you leave a shop without getting good service you feel let down or ripped off and are unlikely to return. Start building a customer service culture in your business that will be the envy of your competitors and lead to the best word of mouth marketing you have ever experienced in retail.
Stop ripping customers off with bad service and work out how much it’s worth to say hello next time that new customer walks into your store.
P.S Like to know the easiest way to provide exception service to every customer?
It’s a skill that’s so powerful.. it’s contagious.
In Module 8 of this program we share a ground-breaking method to help everyone in your business to serve customer better.
This core module is included when you purchase the Essential Service Skills online learning program.