The shopping season is upon us. There will be more customer contact than ever, which means an opportunity to not only help our customers but to enthrall them. Each of us should be reminded that customers can now buy almost anything, anywhere, at the lowest price. Therefore we must maximize every contact with our customers to ensure their satisfaction and our success.
There are many elements to a positive customer experience. So, making them happy to click, or present their money for a purchase could depend on the way that we address them. It goes without saying that being nice to customers is the lowest threshold of customer satisfaction we must meet.
Our words help to enhance the already excellent service that we provide to our customers. But everyone else is out there doing their best to provide excellent service as well. So, how can we step it up a notch?
Here are a few simple suggestions:
When you can, sincerely use these words, please do so: “Delighted,” “Absolutely,” “Pleasure” and “YES”
Say this: “Hi/welcome/how are you?” Not this: [nothing]
Say this: “Let me help you with that” or “How can I help you?” Not this: “You need help?”
Say this: “Can you bear with me for just a moment?” Not this: “We’re just swamped right now, you’ll have to give me a minute.”
Say this: “Let me see if I can get that OK’d for you.” Not this: “Sorry, that’s our policy.”
Say this: “What’s best/easiest for you?” Not this: “That’s the best we can do.”
Say this: “I won’t keep you waiting long” or “I’ll have this done as fast as I can.” Not this: “Hold on a second for me, OK?”
Say this: “I’m so sorry about that.” Not this: [nothing]
Say this: “I’d be happy to/absolutely/our pleasure” Not this: “I can’t.”
Always say this: “Thank you.”
It may seem like semantics, or even a ridiculous level of nuance to some, but dismiss these subtleties at your peril. The customer ear is quite sensitive to the lack of enthusiasm and the mundane language of customer service. Some of these suggestions may apply more to retail during the rush season but can be applied to any business that wishes to improve the customer or client experience.
I should be clear that these suggestions are just for the holiday season. This should become a permanent part of your customer service package. We also realize that for many business, the holiday season is the “make or break” time of the year.
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