Customer Services Blunders Many New Stores Make by Susan Jones
Posted: Mar 22, 2016
There’s no question that online shopping is here to stay. Being able to purchase any item you want with nothing more than a few simple clicks is a convenience that consumers aren’t about to give up. However, despite the meteoric rise of digital retailers, traditional brick-and-mortar establishments are a long way from obsolescence. Even in the age of online shopping, there’s still a place for regular stores – provided, of course, those stores are capable of first-rate customer service.
With such an abundance of competition they’ll be facing, both online and IRL, anyone interested in trying their hand at retail ownership will need to be vigilant about providing good customer service. Offering competitive prices and holding regular promotions are great ways to reel in new business, but eliciting consumer interest is only half the battle; the hard part is turning first-time customers into repeat patrons. As any seasoned retailer worker can confirm, exemplary customer service can prove tremendously helpful in this endeavor. Unfortunately, many fledgling businesses make a large number of rookie mistakes in the customer service department, some of which can prove incredibly damaging. To prevent your store from developing a reputation for lackluster customer service, take care to avoid the following blunders.
Failure to Keep Popular Items in Steady Supply
Failure to consistently stock popular items can serve as a nail in your store’s coffin. One of the main reasons people continue to shop at traditional stores is the convenience of immediately being able to enjoy the items they purchase. As such, it’s in your store’s best interest to keep popular items in steady supply. This can be accomplished with the help of a reliable supply chain management company like Landstar System, Inc.. Offering a wide variety of transport options and unbeatable pricing, Landstar guarantees timely delivery to businesses across the country.
Not Choosing Your Battles
People who are relatively new to the world of retail have a tendency to engage angry customers in arguments. While this may prove gratifying in the short term, this approach to unruly patrons doesn’t benefit anyone. If you work in retail, there’s no way around dealing with the occasional disgruntled patron. Although a fair number of these customers can be appeased through common courtesy, certain patrons are downright impossible to satisfy. Some customers have absolutely no qualms about making a scene and putting service employees through the wringer, regardless of how ridiculous it makes them look. This is why it’s important to choose your battles when dealing with disagreeable customers. For example, if someone is demanding a full refund well past a product’s return date or making a similarly unreasonable request, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of indulging this individual. Giving them what they want may result in a small financial loss for your store, but doing so may ultimately prevent this person from badmouthing you on the web and causing a ruckus in your establishment.
Failure to Exhibit Common Courtesy
Many people who work in retail hold the mistaken belief that not being outright hostile to people constitutes good customer service. If your employees don’t warmly greet patrons or address their queries with a positive attitude, don’t count on much in the way of repeat business. Common courtesy still goes a long way in earning consumer loyalty, and if your staff comes off as distracted or disinterested when dealing with customers, those customers are likely to respond in kind.
Although online shopping clearly isn’t going anywhere, there’s still healthy consumer demand for traditional retail establishments. As long as your staff is well-versed in customer service, patrons are likely to provide you with repeat business speak highly of your store online and recommend you to friends and family members. Understanding the most common customer service-related mistakes will enable you to take measures to avoid making them.
About the Author: Susan Jones owns and operates a video game store in Madison, WI. Thanks to Landstar System, Inc., all of her product shipments arrive flawlessly on-schedule, much to the delight of her loyal customer base.
Online Article Marketing Specialist.