Customer service is more than being friendly, it’s about making customers feel welcome.
First impressions are crucial, so ensure shoppers are greeted with a smile, and as they become a regular, know their orders and tailor your service to them individually.
Mastering customer service can lead to repeat visits, higher spend and happier shoppers.
Monmouth retailer, Ramesh Samani, has owned Kings Fees Stores & Post Office since 1987. Since then, Ramesh has grown his reputation in the community and built a customer focused team, many of whom have been with him for over 10 years.
He’s keen newer staff put customers first, too, to ensure he retains the new customers they’ve gained during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Why I take part
“There’s always something more you can offer customers to make sure they receive a personalised service and return regularly.
“I want to learn and improve the service my team and I offer my customers. Meeting Nigel from the Post Office was valuable, and I’ve discovered how to improve my service throughout the store, from the moment shoppers arrive.
“I’m looking forward to implementing the action plan and seeing the results.”
Anticipating and exceeding customer expectations
Ramesh and his team talk to customers as soon as they arrive, and ask if they need anything else when serving them.
They get reviews on social media, but how can Ramesh get more detailed feedback from shoppers?
How can she ensure she’s making the right choice and not delisting the wrong product?
Nigel says: “Getting feedback from shoppers is a great way of determining how you can improve. Post Office now prints a link on each of its receipts, which enables shoppers to answer questions on how long they waited, store cleanliness and their overall experience.
“View the feedback using our app and make changes based on what you learn.”
ACTION: Encourage customers to provide written feedback, review their answers and implement changes to improve service.
Handling suggestions and complaints
Ramesh’s shoppers use Facebook to communicate with him, asking for certain products to be stocked, which Ramesh will then order in and respond to let them know.
Many will sell well, but how can he drive sales further?
Nigel says: “It’s great that you are listening and reacting to customer requests. Using customer feedback in store can encourage sales.
“Try placing signs around the store to highlight that a new product has been brought in at the request of a customer. It shows that you are listening and shoppers are more likely to pick up products other customers have suggested.”
ACTION: Place signs around the store highlighting new products that have been requested by customers to show customers you’re listening.
Setting standards and sticking to them
Ramesh has a great relationship with his team, and staff turnover is low as a result. Ramesh’s team know what’s expected of them on treating customers well, giving a unique experience.
What can Ramesh do to help new starters apply the same standard?
Nigel says: “Ramesh has created a family-like atmosphere, with some members working with him for 20 years.
“To help the business grow and customer service improve, writing down standards the team must adhere to is key.
“It’s not just about discussing your expectations, but having a physical document that your team can refer to time and again.”
ACTION: Write down a list of customer service standards, share them with your team and display them clearly behind the counter.
To find out how Ramesh got on following his visit from Nigel Parry, click here.