Close your eyes. Imagine walking into a store and are immediately met by a pleasant employee with one goal in mind; to ensure you find the best product that suits your needs exactly as you wish.
No need to look for help, she’s already there and knows the products like the back of her hand. She is patient and flexible, asks the “right” questions to find your wants while letting you decide if the item(s) meets all your needs and expectations.
She is empowered to give you the best deal possible and tailor the terms to make the sale easy and doable for your budget. If later you are unhappy with the product for any reason you can return it with no questions asked.
Sounds too good to be true?
Lately, it is.
This is how business was done years ago. Businesses knew they must tend to the customer on every level to be successful. And, as a local business, they were dealing with a neighbor, their kid’s teacher or clergy and really wanted to do the right thing by them. Attentive service benefited everyone – they would never let the customer down.
We trained the new employee, monitored their actions and each knew what was expected of them. It was enjoyable coming to work, we were like family.It’s so easy to be successful when customers want to do business with you. Click To Tweet
Sometimes you don’t even need the best selection or the lowest price because we made it easy for the customers to shop and that had a value all to its own.
We took the time to find out what they wanted and why. This is called “qualifying the customer”. Our first thought wasn’t making the sale but making the “right” sale that would best fit the customer’s needs. They knew we had their best interest at heart and would never use high pressure sales tactics that only benefit us. We were building a business that has a foundation of trust.
Our employees were just like us; hard working, conscientious and patient. They knew work, just like life, has its ups and downs and nothing was perfect. We needed to work through our difficulties, leave our troubles at home, keep a smile on our face and follow directions. We didn’t complain about our misfortunes because everyone has their own – they don’t need to hear about ours.
When customers came in they expected to have a pleasant shopping experience and we would never disappoint them. We had a job to do and would always do our best.
So, what has changed?
What are we doing wrong today?
Here’s 4 reasons why…
“We have to fill that spot quickly, need to hire someone today. If they don’t work out, get rid of them and find someone else”.
“It’s only a retail sales position; we can’t pay much for it so don’t expect much from the employee”.
“These kids are always on their cell phones, I’m tired of yelling at them to put ‘em away”.
“I can’t keep anyone here longer than 6 months”, what’s happening?”
“Nobody wants to work anymore; I can’t find any good employees”.
No wonder much of today’s service is so poor. With a mindset like this you’ll never be successful. You don’t know how to hire and when you do you treat them like a commodity to dispose of when it suits you.
Face it – you’re a terrible boss!
Your employees know it; your customers know it and I bet your family knows it too. How’s that?
Well, did you forget that 2-3 days a week you come home and complain to your spouse that your employees don’t want to work for you? Or that customer after customer leaves your store without buying anything?
Return to the Mindset of Service
The golden rule of business is the same as the golden rule for people: Treat them as you wish to be treated. Don’t let any customer leave your store without giving your most sincere effort to assist them. They come to you to fix a problem, satisfy a need or to enrich their life. Now it’s your turn to make that dream a reality. And do it with a smile.
Take Personal Responsibility
A poor employee, a lazy employee or one who continually calls out sick is YOUR problem – no one else’s. Come to terms with that. We “train” our employees to act as we allow, not act as we say. Our words will fall on deaf ears when we fail to take personal responsibility for what goes on in our business.
You desire the sweet fruits of your labor but expect it to come from the toil of others. Get back to doing what you did on day one; work. Have a heavy hand in each part of your business and realize your direct efforts will make you a success.
The Customer Is Your FriendA customer is someone to cherish as a trusted friend. Look out for their best interests, provide a fair price and never skimp on quality. Click To Tweet You gain respect with each interaction and positive word-of-mouth advertising will continue to take you far.
Give a Little to Get a Lot
Believe it or not, you don’t need to make money off every customer. Sometimes they can’t be helped because you don’t have the product or provide the service they desire. Most try to sell them something just to make a sale. But you’re not like most businesses – at least, not anymore!Build your good will by recommending another business, even if it’s your competition. Your goal is to “do what’s in the best interest of the customer”, remember? Click To Tweet
Good deeds come back. Positivity breeds positivity. Faith, trust and honest business practices will once again become what you’re known for.
Go ahead, close your eyes. Imagine walking into a store and are immediately met by a pleasant employee with one goal in mind; to ensure you find the best product that suits your needs exactly as you wish.
Wouldn’t you want to do business like this every day? So would your customers.