Retail Customer Service Tip - Identify the Needs and Focus on Solutions
"To survive and grow in today’s competitive retail marketplace, retailers need to revamp their business models and focus on customers’ needs and demands".
The customer always has a basic purpose for shopping, whether they hover in front of a new display or speeds through the on-sale section. Retail employees should identify those needs with a simple open-ended question such as: "How can I help you today?"
Open-ended questions invite people into an interaction with you that doesn’t lead to a no. It can’t lead to a no (unless you get a right prick, in which case leave them to it), it can only lead to a conversation that initiates the relationship between customer and salesperson that we are all so desperate to get. Open-ended questions are things we ask that do not give the option of a yes/no answer, instead, they require full sentences (or at least more than a grunt). Open-ended questions are the beginning of a dialogue that ends with ‘and how would you like to pay for that today?’
Train your team to upsell and cross-sell – Start by encouraging them to pay attention to each customer and determine any potential needs or wants they may have. This allows them to educate shoppers and provide a solution – Upselling or cross-selling shouldn’t just be about pushing products. See to it that shoppers know the benefits of the products you’re pitching and why they should buy it.
Identifying solutions applies to upset customers, too. They’re upset, and the employee's natural reaction may be to return this attitude, but that never works out for anyone.
When the customer reaches out to your business, this could give you a chance to win them back, even if it feels like a long shot. Employees should apologise for any inconvenience or mistake to show accountability.
Customers could air grievances on your business's social media channels, so respond to these issues yourself or encourage your social media manager to take the conversation offline. You don't want a lengthy argument to play out in a comments section. That's a battle with no winner.