20 Oct Legendary Customer Service
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
― Theodore Roosevelt
With over 25 years of experience as a retail sales executive, customer service is a subject near and dear to my heart. Today it is more important than ever. We are in the midst of unprecedented change in retail. We are learning how to deal with the pressures of the digital era and the explosive growth of online commerce. But the fact remains the majority of today’s consumers still prefer to shop at brick and mortar establishments.
Delivering legendary customer service should be the goal of every smart retailer, yet amazingly very few actually deliver it. I worked for a luxury CE retailer based in Florida for thirteen years. Even though the company wasn’t perfect, we did many things right. First and foremost was our commitment to deliver best-in-class customer service. I’d like to share a few of the lessons I learned while working there.
Legendary service is all about building relationships. It sounds simple, but it’s not. There are two kinds of relationships. The first, and most important, is with your internal customers – your employees. We made it a priority to show every employee how much they were valued, how much their input mattered, and that they were an essential part of the company’s success. Meetings, newsletters, promotional guides, product training, and online messages were created to keep the team informed and empowered. The net result was a level of professionalism and customer service that set the standard in the CE industry.
The next crucial relationship is with your external customers. Legendary customer service isn’t just about getting customers what they want; it’s about creating an experience that’s so positive that your competition is left in the dust. Working with luxury customers requires that each team member understands the value of the relationship first. Once established, the sales would soon follow. Taking the time to get to know your customers and what is important to them builds the emotional attachment to your brand. They stay loyal and become customers for life.
One last thought. We were rarely satisfied. All of us constantly tried to move the needle and challenge each other to get better. We were always searching for new ideas and processes to improve the customer experience. At the heart of this pursuit was a commitment to training and the development of our team members. Looking back, I’m proud to say that I was part of team during a golden era in retail consumer electronics that taught me more about legendary customer service than I could imagine.