These are things you can do that will set your business apart from others. They are simple, basic and fit into the category of common sense, which is unfortunately not very common. These are ways that attract and enhance the building of enjoyable, effective and healthy relationships both at work and within life in general.
Paying attention: Recognize and acknowledge each customer who walks through your door and if possible, call them by name. If you have a high volume of customers each day, consider having an official greeter or have team members take turns being at the door to meet, greet and respond to questions. Give each customer professional and appropriate personal attention through an intentional interaction. Ask if you can be of assistance or answer any questions. Most of the time when I walk into a business I have a specific need or question and most of the time I have difficulty finding someone to help me. Paying attention is being there, anticipating and being available, at the customers pace, to serve and take care of them. This is a skill that can really make a difference to the customer.
Listening: This is the next step and next level of paying attention. One of my pet peeves of how I experience employees is when two or three employees are standing in plain sight talking with each other and obviously the customers, others or me, are an interruption to their own personal interactions. There are times when they continue their conversation, process my purchase yet never say a thing to me. No thank you for that type of attention or listening. Paying attention and listening are important, critical and necessary. Giving attention and listening is a matter of giving respect, value and appreciation plus is a moment of truth about whether or not you want a customer to return to do business.
Keeping things clean: Cleanliness gives a message of care for the customer regarding making the customer welcome, comfortable and being prepared for. The entry door, floor, counters, any glass areas and bathrooms are the obvious areas to give attention.
Convenience: This is an area of many facets. Parking, hours of operation, adequate team members to assist customers (especially checking out), isles clear and open, and signage are a few examples. The most important consideration is whether your processes of doing business oriented to what is best for you or the customers’ ease and convenience? Consider how items are packaged, displayed or organized; the layout of the store; processing of special orders or returns; and most of all how requests or questions are handled. Asking the customer how they would like things to be handled often can be the easiest and least costly approach.
Quality: In the business world today, the standards, specifications and definition of quality needs to involve each specific customer. If we allow and enable the customer to express his or her perspective regarding quality, in most cases the end result will be a winning result for you and the customer. Try it!
Bernie Linnartz, of Empowerment Experts, is a consultant, coach and facilitator of individuals, teams, families and organizations. Comments, questions and suggested topics are welcome. Cell (575) 770-4712 or email firstname.lastname@example.org