Awesome Customer Service Requires a Three Pronged Attack

Written by John Stanley

The perception inrepparttar marketplace, according to research, is that customer service is declining. Whether consumer expectations have increased or services have declined overrepparttar 150125 last few years is debatable. The fact is, perception is truth, inrepparttar 150126 consumers’ eyes.

Having stated that, some businesses still seem to excel in customer service and get rave reviews from consumers, surely they have a different strategy.

Internal Customers Remainrepparttar 150127 Same

It is my view that everyone joins a business team to do their best. It isrepparttar 150128 culture ofrepparttar 150129 business that affects their performance level. There is an African saying “the boss casts a long shadow” and this is especially true when it comes torepparttar 150130 standard of customer service we experience in businesses. Everyone wants to excel at customer service, but starts from a different point and performs torepparttar 150131 cultural expectation levels ofrepparttar 150132 business.

The consumer experiences customer service based, in my view, onrepparttar 150133 different levels: Level One: Synthetic Service Level Two: Genuine Service Level Three: Super Service Is itrepparttar 150134 understanding ofrepparttar 150135 team andrepparttar 150136 implementation process that makerepparttar 150137 difference.

Synthetic Customer Service

This is based on all team members being trained to provide a ‘customer service’ act. They are given a script, told to remember their lines and to repeatrepparttar 150138 same process with every customer.

This approach is common inrepparttar 150139 fast food industry and is often criticized by many business people, due to its artificial approach. But, in my opinion, it does have a role. Not every one hasrepparttar 150140 experience and attitude to provide customer service at level two or three.

Most young people do not haverepparttar 150141 life skills to move to level two or three. The same is true when employing people from a different culture to your target customer.

Companies that provide awesome customer service appreciate that not everyone will be awesome. They therefore ensure they have a rigorous training programme to make sure all team members are trained and skilled at least in level one customer service.

Genuine Customer Service This should be mainstream customer service. It is based on employing a team member with personality and then giving them confidence by providing product knowledge and skills training in selling.

Genuine customer service is often labeled Customer Relations Management. It requires team members to open conversations using “open questions”. They then rely on their listening skills and product knowledge to build a relationship and foster loyalty withrepparttar 150142 customer.

Genuine customer service has to be sincere and has to provide solutions for consumers. Thereforerepparttar 150143 sales person has to think forrepparttar 150144 customer and to think through their customer’s needs and wants. This approach ensuresrepparttar 150145 consumer trustsrepparttar 150146 salesperson.

How to Develop a Retail Business Strategy

Written by John Stanley

As a successful retailer, you need to work ‘in’ your business to generate a return on your investment now and work ‘on’ your business to ensure that you generate a return on your investment inrepparttar future.

This means it is critical that you take time to stand back fromrepparttar 150124 business and objectively analyse it and develop a plan forrepparttar 150125 future.

1.Do a SWOT Analysis on Your Business

You need an analysis process that will work in your business. Most consultants will tell you that a SWOT analysis carried out at least once a year is critical to your businesses success. Dorepparttar 150126 SWOT analysis away fromrepparttar 150127 business so that you are not disturbed byrepparttar 150128 day to day business distractions.

Ideally, get your key team members to join you to carry outrepparttar 150129 analysis. A group of 5 or 6 in a team will develop more thought than one brain.

2.Identify Your Strengths

You need to clearly identifyrepparttar 150130 strengths of your business as your first objectives. As a group provide answers torepparttar 150131 following:

•What do we do really well?

•What sector of our retailing adds most torepparttar 150132 bottom line?

•What arerepparttar 150133 areas of our business where we outperform out competition?

•What parts of our retailing endorses how customers perceive us with positive recognition?

3.Identify Your Weaknesses

Do not start your ‘think tank’ with identifying your weaknesses. Start withrepparttar 150134 positive areas as this builds moral and confidence. But,repparttar 150135 key is to identify your weaknesses.

You need objective answers torepparttar 150136 following questions:-

•What areas of your business operation providerepparttar 150137 most frequent complaints?

•In what situation are we most vulnerable as a retail operation?

•What products or processes providerepparttar 150138 most problem?

•What products or processes bring inrepparttar 150139 lowest returns?

4.Analyse Your Opportunities

Once your decide on what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can than start planning your future direction. Again, start withrepparttar 150140 positive and look atrepparttar 150141 opportunities.

You will need objective answers torepparttar 150142 following questions:-

•What opportunities exist to improverepparttar 150143 internal running of your retail business?

•What arerepparttar 150144 current marketing opportunities that you should exploit?

•What changes are taking place that are external to your business, that will allow you to operate more effectively?

5.Analyserepparttar 150145 Treats to Your Business

The final part of your SWOT is to analyserepparttar 150146 threats to your business.

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