In today’s crowded retail market, consumers expect more than ever before. They’re smarter, they have more choices, and they demand better experiences than they may have tolerated in the past. With so many options available at the touch of a button, consumers aren’t shy about searching for something new if their satisfaction isn’t met.
This isn’t necessarily bad news for retailers, but it does require some work and a renewed focus on customer service. Reputation alone isn’t enough anymore, and low prices are great for getting customers in the door, but it won’t bring them back if the service and experience fail to meet expectations.
One thing we can control is customer service
There are obviously some areas where we can’t compete with the companies who ship flowers in boxes, but we can certainly refocus on areas where we do excel, starting with outstanding customer service.
In order to achieve outstanding service, we need to take a “YES WE CAN” approach to every transaction. We need a change in our industry. We need some fresh air. We need to understand people chose to buy flowers – they don’t have to buy flowers.
The goal of exceptional customer service is to answer every question with a positive option. The word “NO” must be removed from the conversation and instead replaced with options. Let the consumer decide where to draw the line by choosing how far they’re willing to go to get their need fulfilled instead of being told it is impossible under any circumstances.
Flowers at midnight?
Beneva Flowers delivered 24 hours a day. If you ordered after 4 p.m., it was an additional $10 on top of the regular delivery fee. If you ordered after 6 p.m., it was an additional $20. If you order after 8 p.m., it was an additional $50. If you ordered after midnight, an additional $100. Obviously at those rates you weren’t going to be making a lot of midnight deliveries, but you we’re still giving customers the option.
Why would you tell your customer “no” if they’re willing to pay the price? Ask a driver if they would deliver for those rates during those hours – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Attitude is everything
Today’s savvy customers don’t want a rubber stamp one-size-fits-all fix to their problem, they want someone to see it their way and work with them to find a solution. No one expects this service for free. Name your price, but take a moment to improve your menu of offerings.
Great customer service takes understanding and awareness of their thoughts and feelings. In order to empathize with customers, we need to understand their emotions.
Take the time to listen with the mindset of making it right with a “YES WE CAN” attitude. If the customer takes the time to voice an opinion, we should take the time to listen and do everything we can to exceed their expectations. That’s what great customer service is all about.