Bill Sifflard has made a great point about customer relations… three of them in fact. He points out that employees – no matter what size the company – have three places while dealing with customers where they can increase goodwill, loyalty, and even sales. Those points are the greeting, the follow-up, and the close.
Using Sifflard's examples, they are "Next," "Anything else," and "Here's your change."
How often have you heard any or all of those phrases? You probably don't even notice them anymore, except perhaps when they aren't used. For example, how do you feel when a cashier says something different, like, "Hey, did you find everything you wanted?!" Much better – I would think – than "Next."
How do you think sales would go in a store that got its employees to up-sell, or suggest compatible products with every item a customer wanted to buy? How often do you think customers would return to a store that went out of its way to make them feel welcome when they arrived, and appreciated when they left?
Get some friends to walk into your store anonymously to find out what kind of experience your customers have. Don't be too hard on your employees if they aren't making the most of the customer relationship opportunities. Instead, bring it to their attention and talk about it. Let them know why it's important and how sales are affected. Then brainstorm together on possible things they can say.
Give them a chance to see the benefits of simple phrase and attitude changes. They, and your customers, should be pleasantly surprised.
Posted by George Page, Communication Specialist