How to Perfect Customer Service in Retail

January 22, 2018

One of the most customer-service focused industries is the retail industry. Not only that, but it’s also one of the few industries where you’re more likely to speak with customers face-to-face rather than over the phone or online. For this reason, there are some specific guidelines that ought to be followed when customers come to you or your employees for help or to voice a complaint.

In larger retail companies, customer service is usually either not an issue, due to the ratio of dissatisfied vs satisfied customers making effective customer service less important, or a constant strain on employees due to rules and rude customers wearing them down, especially if they’re not used to the stress that comes with the role. Nevertheless, there are some rules that all your staff should follow when engaging customers, such as:

Don’t ignore a customer when they approach you. Most customers won’t approach an employee even when they need help, so when an employee doesn’t immediately acknowledge them when they approach, it reinforces their belief that retail employees aren’t interested in helping customers, or that bothering them would simply annoy them.

You can improve this, either by telling your employees to acknowledge customers even when working, but also by enforcing the 10-5 rule: at 10 feet, make eye contact with the customer and appear ready to help. At 5 feet, greet them. It’s best not to ask if they need help automatically: it could be viewed as patronising.

Delegate customer requests to other employees properly. It shouldn’t come as a shock to customers or higher-ups that employees don’t know everything about the company, but if an employee is given a question or complaint they can’t answer, it should pass to someone who can answer the issue ASAP. Simply telling the customer to find the manager or another superior at the company reinforces that belief described earlier: make sure the issue is brought to someone who knows what to do in a timely manner.

The customer service experience in retail environments is a unique one, with challenges that don’t appear when you’re interacting with customers online or by phone, but they’re not insurmountable and they can be a far less stressful experience than talking over the phone or by email, where subtle nuances in speech and body language are missed. At Soft Intelligence, we’re passionate about gathering staff feedback and ‘soft intelligence’ from your clients and customers, transforming it into straightforward and accurate data that turns the hassle of feedback processing into a breeze.

[gravityform id="1" title="false" ajax="true"]