It is quite a challenge to continually maintain a great customer service culture, so much easier to be one of the many who pays lip service and provides mediocre service. A great customer service culture requires focus and an ongoing commitment to always look at ways to do things better.
It requires team members who want to consistently provide the best service, so they are open to ways to improve new learning and ideas. It requires retailers that are prepared to listen to their customers and change the way they do things to better benefit the customer. It also requires retailers to invest in their most important asset their people.
Frankly, it’s hard work to be a leader in customer service culture which is why a number of companies don’t invest in this critical area. Because it is hard work, like most things, there needs to be a payoff. I believe there are plenty of massive benefits from investing in things like training your managers to be exceptional leaders, training your team members in your high, but achievable standards and committing to ongoing follow-up. This is what creates and maintains a great customer service culture.
So what are the benefits?
- Team members who are well trained. This means they are more connected to your customer service culture. They know what is expected and most importantly how to deliver it. Most team members value training as an investment in them and this leads to higher staff retention.
- Team members who are more engaged. This is critical if you want your team to be motivated to deliver amazing service every time. Team members who are engaged, bring to work every day, their passion and enthusiasm and this translates into more genuine interactions with customers from team members who care.
- An increase in customer loyalty. Customers love to shop when they feel good about the experience. We believe the rewarded customer buys, multiplies and comes back. This simply means they are going to buy when they are in-store, they will buy more than one product and they will come back more often. A perfect result for every retailer.
- Customers become advocates. Not only do they shop more often, they will share their experiences with others as well as post on social media, including reviews. Research tells us that customers rate very highly the views of other customers, so this is a critical point.
- You can charge higher prices. A lot of customers will rate experience above price and are willing to pay more if they receive a superior level of customer service, recent research identified that over 65% of customers will, in fact, do this. This is a great opportunity to avoid the race to the bottom that competing on price does and sell your products at the right margin.
- Leading to an increase in profits. Succeeding in the above five points all lead to your business making more money. From reducing the cost of staff turnover through better-engaged staff, having more customers via advocacy through to increasing sales at higher prices, all points to an increase in profit.
Six great reasons to focus on creating and maintaining a great customer service culture. In today’s extremely competitive market place we have to be able to beat our competition or face the consequences.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.