Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Common Retail Customer Service Mistakes To Avoid

Customer service plays a direct role in the success of a retail store. Businesses that overlook or underestimate this element will suffer from fewer customers and ultimately lower sales. Whether your store sells sporting goods, apparel, jewelry, electronics, groceries or practically any other consumer product, you need to focus on your customers' needs. In this post, we're going to reveal some of the most common customer service mistakes made in retail and why you should avoid them.

Mistake #1) Not Greeting Shoppers

Arguably, the single most common customer service mistake retail stores make is not greeting shoppers when they first enter. It only takes a few seconds to greet shoppers, and doing so leaves a lasting impression. A simple "Hello, how are you today?" will set your store apart your competitors. Retail store owners should train their employees to greet each shopper who walks into the store.

Mistake #2) Not Helping Customers Find Product

A second all-too-common mistake is not helping customers find product. If a customer is browsing through a rolling rack of shirts, pants or other apparel items, perhaps you could ask them if they need assistance locating a specific size. You can even go one step further by bringing the customer several different sizes just in case the one they requested doesn't fit.

Mistake #3) Bad Attitude

Of course, bad attitude is another customer service mistake that should be avoided in the retail industry. I think we've all been guilty of showing up to work with a general negativity, but retail employees must put on a 'happy' face to send a positive message to customers. Workers who constantly perform their duties with a bad attitude will spread negativity to other employees and customers.

Mistake #4) Bad Return Policy

A retail store's return policy goes hand in hand with customer service. Stores with a large "ALL SALES FINAL!" sign probably won't win over the hearts of their customers. Sure, it takes time and energy to restock items that customers have returned, but it's well worth it in the end. Allowing customers to return products within a reasonable time frame will keep them coming back to your store for future purchases.

Mistake #5) Always Saying "No"

Employees should be trained to avoid using the word "no" in correspondence with customers. If a customer asks if you have a jacket in a certain size, perhaps you could tell them that while it's currently not in stock, you can order it for them. There are times when employees must use the word "no," but it's important to focus on "yes, we can" instead.

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