This is the month to Shift Into High Gear on Service!
Long lines, picked over selection, harried employees, tired associates – those are the expectations many shoppers have this time of year, no matter where they shop. And the added pressure to buy during the holiday season can be a major turnoff, as shoppers know that sales associates are often under pressure to meet end-of-year sales goals.
No wonder some people really have to work to drum up holiday cheer!
How can your business stand out in the crowd and keep them coming back long after the holiday?
•Staff up with seasonal help, if you can. If you’re really busy, your staff will be stretched thin—which means lines and/or wait times will be longer and they’ll have less time to spend helping each customer who needs it. Customer service is even more crucial this time of year! Don’t skimp! Just as important is to maintain a high level of customer service long after the holiday rush. No matter how hectic always take time to smile and spread holiday cheer!
•Focus on giving back. These days, studies show consumers are increasingly more interested in businesses that are socially responsible. Show customers how you’re helping the community this holiday season, and invite them to join you.
•Incentivize. Some holiday deals are hard to trust—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer some that are worthwhile to the customer (but won’t break your bank). Offer a slightly lower price structure between now and December 31; devise a customer-friendly deferred payment structure; or present a limited time offer that increases the sense of urgency to buy now. Everyone likes a bargain, especially during this expensive time of year.
•Empower customers with knowledge. It’s gift-giving season, which means navigating foreign territory for many consumers. You’re the expert—get to know what their gift recipient is looking for, then empower them with knowledge to select the right match. Don’t just state the facts; help them weigh the pros and cons. You just may make a customer for life by taking a few extra minutes to help!
The bottom line: Focus on the customer — every customer, individually. Get to know their needs, and treat them all with utmost respect – male, female, young, old. There’s no “one size fits all” solution to making everyone happy and satisfied, especially in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It’s a special time of year, and your goal should be to make your each customer feel special too, both now and into the New Year!
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