Customer Service Is The New Black
It is amusing to be seeing the ‘resurance’ of the awareness of the importance of customer service!
People are talking about it like it is a new planet; “The way to build sales and ensure your business’ longevity is to focus on customer service”, “The key to success is serving your customers as they want to be servied”, “This x will transform your business because it will help with customer service”, “Look at the customer as a person”….
I started my working career as a Grace Bros Management Cadet and it was drummed into us that CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY for everyone in the business. Above all we were to ensure the customer was served and do whatever we had to do to ensure the customer felt important BECAUSE THEY WERE IMPORTANT. I have carried this focus with me through my working life and it has served me well.
You may have heard of the term Shopper Marketing,we used to call it ‘knowing your customer and tailoring the business to serve your customer’.
‘Multi-Channel’ is also simply being where your customer is – makes sense doesn’t it?
If you have been to a Department Store in the last few years, you will know the reason why non of the cadets in my class still work in Department stores anymore. It is absolutely beyond my comprehension that they would spend millions on store fitouts yet not put staff on the floor. Really it is not a case of ‘enough staff’ anymore, it is just staff – where are they? Who is supposed to help us, unlock the security bands to try things on, open the cabinet, help us choose between 2 items, give us product information, look for more stock etc?
I was listening to the radio this week and people were talking about no service in Department Stores; one said she answered the ringing phone out of frustration after waiting for someone to serve her, hoping that it was another staff member; another one said they could not get served at a cosmetic counter on Christmas Eve??!!
Not having any staff on the floor to serve customers is just the beginning of a long list of BAD EXAMPLES OF CUSTOMER SERVICE, they also include:
- not having a website
- not engaging customers – on and offline
- not being aware of the importance of communicating to your customer, online through Social Media & offline
- not being in stock
- not being able to order stock and have it delivered quickly
- not having ‘pick-up in-store’ as a checkout option on your online store
- not understanding the sales process and language
- no product training
At the last Social Media Women, of which I am co-founder, meeting, guest speaker Kate Carruthers said ‘Sometimes you just have to forget about the technology and just do the marketing’. How true is that? In this example: