Did you hear that customer’s complaint?
Are you hearing the message that can help you improve?
While every company wants to improve, typically the measurement is sales and profits. Often the opportunity rests in the improvement of service levels and simply is a question of what can be improved and where to start. The fact is that your customers are probably telling you every day, but employees may not be listening for key phrases that give some tips. You may even have employees that have picked up on the signals and just haven’t communicated them so that your team can improve. Changing an experience in customer engagement from “Are you finding everything alright?” to “Are there any items you were looking for today that we didn’t have?” can show your customers that you are listening to them.
Often, a Big Box response to the question if you can order something is that they have no input or corporate does the ordering. What if it MAKES SENSE to adjust your inventory offerings? There may be signs in your customer’s comments that are directing to hidden sales & profits. A man that states “I usually shop at…” may be willing to tell you why they usually go there and allow you to know what you may be lacking. You may see that it is an easy item to add to your mix and that others also are looking for the same item. “I’ll wait and buy it at…” can indicate that your pricing is off line or that the return policy may need to be revisited. Another key question can be “Do you have any more of these in back?” which will indicate that there is an ordering or stocking opportunity. If a client does not see or cannot buy the quantity they need in your store, they will wait and buy the full lot at another store that was prepared.
Take a moment and review how you obtain the customer feedback in your store. How does that information make it from the client’s lips to your ears, especially at a time when you can think through the comments and hear the message. Look to provide each employee (including you) with a notepad as well as one at each register, to log customer comments & concerns. As your clients see it noted, you are already ahead of the competition. If you react to what the customers are saying, you win them over.
Dave Trumble 11/29/16