I don’t assume anything. I don’t, for example, have any rules that says all customers must be greeted in thirty second, or phone has to be answer a second it ring. Rules like that are created by people who assume anything. I don’t assume anything.
Instead, I try to find out. If you give a customers a chance to talk, and you’re willing to listen, they’ll tell you exactly what they want, and what’s important to them.
In my business—as in most retail businesses—the conventional wisdom is that customers hate to be “attacked” by salesperson the moment they walk through the door. So, we are aware of that. In fact, I had to tell my sale consultant to give them space to acclimate, before anyone goes to talk to them. But don’t forget to say “Hi” to them and to let them know you’re there to assist them in any minute when they’re ready to be assisted.
In all my years in business as a designer and a couturier, I have never had one person complain that we are too aggressive, or that we did not delivered as promised. The point is, it doesn’t make any difference what consultants or anybody else say is the right way to greet customers. The only thing that matters is what the customer wants. And the only way to know for sure what they want is to ask them.
Here’s how I find out what’s on the customer’s mind:
- They’re looking for a one of a kind wedding dress.
- How long it takes to make a “custom-to-fit’ dress.
- Price range.
- What is included in the price.
- How it works when they’re out of town.
The secret —whatever you’re selling houses, cars, clothing, wedding dresses—–is to identify the most important thing to the customer. Once you know what’s important, you then have to make sure you’re providing it. So you measure it. If out of their price range, then offer them something they cannot refuse; offer them something for free.
Like; for example, we are a custom dress shop. A coutureir. Our price’s higher than any other bridal stores around us, and our dresses are unique and original. And yet, we still offer them something that no other bridal store offered after the dress removed from our care by giving them peace of mind. Our services gives Guarantee and satisfactions that we will fix the dress again in case it doesn’t fit, as long as they give us two weeks to work on it before their wedding day. And also we stretch our services to a “free” shortening after the wedding. Customers will always remember you for giving them your spare time for free. They will advertise your business for free in return to their peers, colleague, family and to their friends.
Customers will pay for the quality and the originality of your work. They will tell you exactly what they think and what their expectations be.No matter what business you’re in, customers want assurance that you deliver what you preach.
SYSTEM NOT SMILES
When people think of customer service, it’s usually the warm fuzzy things that come to mind: saying please and thank you; yes, m’am, and no sir; calling another store to see if they have the item in stock.
That’s certainly part of providing good service–but it’s only a small part. If customer service were a cake, the politeness, smiles, and being willing to go to the extra mile would be an icing. The cake would be the systems that allow you to do a good job.
Doing a good job has two parts:
- doing the job right the first time; and
- having a plan in place to deal with things when they go wrong. Having systems that allow you to do both those things are more important than all the warm and fuzzy feelings in the world. After all, it doesn’t make any difference to our customers how nice we are if we don’t do the job right or, at the very least, immediately take care of the problem when something goes wrong.
It’s like going to a restaurant. They can smile till their jaws ache, hold your chair for you when you sit down, and refold your napkin every time you leave the table, but if the food is no good, you’re not likely to go back.
What’s needed in restaurants, car dealers, department stores, bridal stores, and every place else is systems–not–just smiles–that guarantee good service. Every service is composed of a group of systems. Those systems must work together to create a process that s efficient and responsive to a customer’s wants.
Systems have always been an integral part of manufacturing. Without carefully planned and measured process, there’s no way to make anything efficiently.
Systematic approaches are 80% of customer service. They’re what’s really important, not the smiles and thank yous. The key is to device systems that allow you to give customer what they wants every time.
Stay tuned! : ) Merly Bayona