by Teri Foster | business skills | customer service

Are your customers happy?

Customer service in Australia is generally pretty good. People are pretty friendly and pleased to have a chat.

Recently I experienced Outstanding Customer Service at Frankston Toyota. Customer service fit for a queen. The same staff member, Linzi Eccles, has now sold 3 cars to my family. Why? Because she is what I call an OCSI. Outstanding Customer Service Individual.

Unfortunately not every business has Linzi working for them. Not even a pale imitation. She is simply OUTSTANDING.

Sometimes I enter big chain stores and immediately start to tense up. I just know I won’t be able to find what I want and if I dare interrupt any chatting assistants to ask for help I will be met with the ‘glare’ and almost obligatory ‘ah, I dunno’, or ‘I don’t think so’.

Are there offers of help to look on a shelf or a speedy dash to a computer to check stock? How about asking a colleague or supervisor? Uh, no.

The frustration this creates often sends customers bolting out the door. Those brave shoppers who choose to stay on their quest wander among miss-shelved items and wrongly sized clothes. No need to sheepishly avoid eye contact with the ‘un co-operatives’. They are never looking your way.

The upside of all of this is that an unusual shoppers’ camaraderie is developing in the malls and stores of Australia. Perfect strangers point lost lambs in the direction of their desired purchases. The accuracy of sizing is discussed with whoever just happens to be hanging round the jeans’ section. Mumbles and mutterings along the lines of ‘oh, where is the stationery’, ‘does anyone actually work in this place?’ can be heard from the far side of men’s apparel’.

Good customer service? Any customer service? A big fat NO.

Poor customer Service

Don’t let this be your business

A little bit of training and motivation could have your customers singing your praises out the door and right back in again.

Being an OCSI does take some natural talent but the traits of an OCSI can be learned.

Here are five tips you can share with your customer service team today that will make visitors to your store want to come back. Again and again.

  • Always acknowledge a customer. Even if you are busy with another customer smile and nod to the waiting person to let them know they have been seen.
    1. Everyone likes to be noticed
  • Smile, nod and say hello to customers walking round the store.
    1. Everyone likes to be noticed
    2. Smiles and hellos create a positive feeling in customers that they will carry with them when they leave the store.
  • When a customer asks for help
    1. Smile
    2. Make eye contact
    3. Nod and make noises that show you are listening
    4. Ask for more information if you need to
    5. Walk with them to the aisle or product they require
    6. Offer to find out if you don’t know the answer
  • If you see a customer standing for a long time near a particular product or display approach them with a smile and ask if they need assistance
  • If your store cannot provide what the customer wants apologise and make suggestions about where they could go next. They will remember your good service.

Happy customers =more sales=more jobs.


Call Teri Foster from Words That Win Copywriting on the Mornington Peninsula today and chat about training for your staff.

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