Friday, August 10, 2007

Retail rules - what is face value?

Just one little observation... for a retail business [whether selling goods, like a clothing boutique, or selling services, like a restaurant], client-facing staff are absolutely integral to the purchase experience.

And if there's one thing that will make the experience positive for the customer, its this...

... make sure that the staff that the client sees [tellers / assistants / waiters / whoever] greet the customer and smile

Retail owners take note - this is BIG. Do not take it for granted.

I can't count the number of stores that I've been into lately where this does not happen - I can't remember them either. However, I can remember the ones where it does happen.

So, do you want your store to be memorable, or don't you?

[Note - just came across this... seems someone here is intent on South Africa taking this whole customer service thing seriously -> The Institute of Extreme Customer Service. I can't vouch for whether its working or not as there seem to have been two updates since February this year - hopefully they haven't gone MIA.]


Carl Spies said...

Hey Darren

Agreed! Acknowledging the customer is such a core part of the customer experience and quite often missing. We've found that effectively teaching the following to all personnel makes a difference:

(1) the brand promise of the company (sometimes quite different to the vision/mission plaque framed in the foyer).
(2) the value of the customer in the context of the business surviving and growing.
(3) a line of sight to how their contribution adds to the business.

Seemingly common sense to most people, though from our experience we're finding that common sense is not common practice. A really fun challenge that we're setting up to solve :)

How many times have you seen company advertising promoting it's staff as wildly friendly and helpful, in a clean modern setting ... only to come across a preoccupied, apathetic person grunting at you in a dingy store?

The ad budget has then been wasted a little more.

As for the Institute, we're just wrapping up the first pilot of our Customer Service Program for Leaders, with the first intake filled by Wesbank senior personnel. We're reviewing and consolidating the learnings from this and then launching our programs for management and frontline personnel.

Look out for White Papers and relevant content later this month, with our social media campaign beginning in Spring.

Darren said...

Hi Carl

Great to hear that you are making progress! What you say is sot true.

Hopefully in a little while we will all see the rewards of your efforts... I know it is a long road, but once everyone sees the benefits [from both sides] I believe it will become a non-negotiable, and we will swell with pride when foreigners visit here and leave with amazing stories of friendliness and spectacular service, bringing even more visitors to our shores.

I'll keep an eye on your progress.