During the period of the last week of November through the first week of January, Retail, Specialty and various other establishments offering products and services for sale experience a peak in shopping customers and an increase in sales. During this festive time of the year which covers Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, happy folks are excitedly purchasing gifts to show their love and appreciation to the people they care about. This means that your company and your employees have an opportunity to shine and make lasting impressions on your customers. Now, you can decide whether this will be the type of service that makes the customer want to return and do repeat business or make sure the customer never returns to your company again.
Here are four tips to help you maximize on the increased flow of customers during this season:
- Ensure your staffing levels are sufficient.
While operating cost is a major factor in business decisions, during this season when you are absolutely certain you will have more than the usual flow of customers, do your company and your employees a favor, hire or schedule sufficient staff members to meet the demand. This will allow your employees the opportunity to provide quality service to your customers minus the frustrations of being pulled in various directions and will also provide your customers with sufficient personnel to deal with thereby alleviating the frustrations of not being able to find an available customer service representative.
- Ensure your staff members are savvy enough to handle the demand that will be placed on them during this season.
Take the time every single day to rally your staff members. Your daily huddles with them should be inspirational and motivating. Help to set the tone for the day by resetting their minds and focusing them on the goals for the day. Role play various scenarios to assist them in handling complex and/or difficult situations.
- Ensure your company adds a personal touch to the services you provide.
Consider offering a personal touch to your services. It could be something as simple as tea and/or coffee, a packaged cookie or a candy. Give your company a service signature by branding it with an exceptional level of service. Encourage employees to call customers by name and to relate to their customers in a personal but not uncomfortable way.
- Ensure your staff is empowered to deal with any problems that may arise.
Don’t make the mistake of only having one decision maker in your company during this busy time. How annoying is it for a customer to be told you have to speak to the manager or my manager isn’t here – you’ll have to call back. Customers want and expect immediate resolutions. During this season, consider the frequent complaints you may hear and create a chart that employees can use to offer restitution. Provide the guidelines for them to effectively resolve customer complaints. I assure you this will make the customer, the employee and the manager very happy.
As I conclude today’s blog, I encourage business owners to focus on creating the type of culture employees need to be more productive and loyal to their organizations. You have the opportunity to not only impress your customers but to also impress your employees by showing appreciation to them for their hard work and their contribution to the overall success of your business.
Tip of the week: Customer service will always be the differentiating factor. You can add new and loyal customers by serving them well. Help your business to succeed by creating a great service culture in your organization.