Attentive Quality Service
Canadians are attentive when it comes to customer service. The expected standard when you walk into any retail store, is the friendly approach. It begins with something like: “How are you today?” and develops into help finding the thing for which you came in. If they can’t provide it for you, they’ll check their other locations. If that doesn’t pan out, they’ll recommend a competitor.
British customers seem to find shop assistant friendliness annoying, intimidating or even aggressive. I suspect this is because they’re not used to it. They expect to be treated ignorantly. It makes them uncomfortable and suspicious that someone actually wants to help them. They are worried they may be guilted into buying something. Canadians don’t feel guilty. They don’t feel imposed upon. They demand this kind of attention.
If you were used to attention, and stopped getting it, how would you feel? If you never had attention, and started getting it, how would you feel? Which is better?
A friendly, I-will-give-you-what-you-want (but will leave you to figure it out for yourself if you prefer) approach is far more likely to achieve a sale and lasting customer loyalty.
A shrug of the shoulders, I-don’t-know, “if it’s not on the shelf, we don’t have it” walk-away-and-ignore-you approach will never build relationships. It will send a customer looking elsewhere, faster than you can blink.
Umpteen times I have stood waiting to pay, while staff chat casually amongst themselves, or answer the phone rather than deal with the person who bothered to show up in their shop.
Attention. It’s the most valuable commodity you can “sell” in a service.
Give me access. Let me handle stuff, try on stuff, test it out for myself.
Got another size or style out back? Offer to go get it and show me. Be willing to get something off the top shelf for me. Unzip that suitcase to show me how spacious it is inside. Hold things for me, offer to set them aside for me so I don’t have to carry them while I’m still looking.
What advantages will I gain by buying from you instead of someone else? Tell me why, without putting down others. Don’t be shy about saying what is different about you.
Don’t drag yourself around like you hate your job. (If you do, quit.) Be alive, vibrant and excited about our interaction. After all, ultimately we are selling a feeling, and we all want to feel good. It starts with you.
Use your enthusiasm to kick start my amazement of your product or service. Tell me why it’s thrilling. Make it so compelling that I cannot refuse.
Show your aptitude. Be clever. Learn your stuff. Show you know it and let it shine. I want to have complete confidence in you.
Listen to me explain what it is I want. Assess my needs and determine how your product or service meets them. Then offer me the perfect solution.
If I know nothing about the product, inform me. Tell me about the guarantees. Make me feel that it’s safe to buy your product or service.
Help me in any and every way you possibly can.
Don’t be snarky with me. Ever. I’m always right, remember? Be cheerful (even when you’re not). Your job is to make my experience a pleasant one.
Be honest. If this dress looks like crap on me, tell me so, and help me find something else. Be genuine and trustworthy. I’ll always come back to you.
Be an avid fan of the product you sell or the service you provide. Use it, love it, know everything about it. And make me as enthusiastic about it as you are.
Notice that I’m there. Notice if I’m hovering. Look for cues that I need questions answered. Approach me if I’m lingering. There’s a reason why I’m spending a lot of time staring at something. I need your help. It’s up to you to be aware of my needs and do your best to fulfill them.