Recently I was asked to do some service and sales training for a large company. They wanted me to go around to over 20 sites and work with their frontline staff in creating a better culture for their customers. As a part of that process, they asked me if I would do a random visit (mystery shop) any one of their outlets to get a feel as to how their customers were being treated.
Now this business deals with hundreds of customers at each site every single day so I was looking forward to seeing how they handled customers as obviously they were used to seeing and dealing with them every day.
WOW!!! I was totally blown out of the water with how bad an experience everyone received whilst I was in the premises.
Not one person was met with a “hello”, not one person was verbally thanked after purchase was completed, and to top it all off, not one person was even spoken to during the exchange of money at the counter!!!
It was quite evident that the employee that I was watching forgot to take his personality with him to work. This, sadly happens every day within businesses. The rampant failure of most companies to train their staff in PROPER customer service skills is amazing. Sure, some now do “online” training (oh please) but if you want your business, your department to start kicking big goals, then actual face to face training is needed. This should not be seen as a “maybe”, this should be seen as a “must”.
The whole notion of service seems to have been lost on a lot of employees. It isn’t an added “option” that they can put into the equation….your customers are looking, no searching for great quality service and to be acknowledged as a valued part of your business.
The minute employees understand this is the minute your business will start making more money for the business as your customers now have more of a reason to come back to you other than just because you have something they may want to buy.
It all comes down to giving ALL of your customers an experience. The issue is, however, most of us are getting an experience when we go out to spend our own money in other people’s businesses. The experience is a shocking one not an amazing one. That is why we all need to teach our staff (and sometimes ourselves) what I call “The 3 Must Do’s For Amazing Service”
We need to really (and I mean REALLY) engage with our customers. We need to teach our staff the art of engagement. Being conversational is a key point here. These days you could swear most employees who deal with the public went to the Marcel Marceau School of Service. By that I mean, you don’t hear one word come out of their mouths. In essence, they aren’t service focused, they are merely order takers. When someone engages you in a conversation, your emotional attachment to what they are saying as well as what they are eventually selling is heightened. That said, all staff should be engaging with customers regardless of potential sale or not. It’s called “old fashion service”.
The amount of times that I have been out looking to purchase something and I know more about it than the person selling it is ridiculous. Your customers want to know that you and your staff have great knowledge about what you are selling. This leads to trust, and trust leads to longevity with a customer. Spending time with staff and training them in all aspects of the products or services you sell is imperative. Your customers are not just buying the “thing” you are selling, they are buying into the culture of the sum parts of all of your business. That said, now hopefully you can see that spending time training your staff will pay off in your register in the future
This is my favourite point to teach staff. The workplace should be a fun environment. There is nothing worse as a customer, walking into a business where it seems as though someone stole all their lunch money and they all looked like they had been sucking on lemons. An entertained customers will engage better within your business. Customers return to businesses that they enjoy dealing with. This is where personality comes in to play. Creating a fun, vibrant and happy culture in your workplace should be at the top of your “to-do” list. A fun filled and happy workplace creates greater outcomes due to the staff enjoying what they do. A miserable workplace is easy to spot and terrible to deal with. Having an entertaining encounter with any business is rare these days, so as soon as you include this in your dealings with your customers, watch how more connected they become to your business as now you are offering them something that they don’t get anywhere else. Especially with your competitors!
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