Simply put, the answer is ABSOLUTELY!
You can’t expect your employees to feel the same way you do about your business, but you CAN get them to see the advantages of thinking and acting like it is their business. The bottom line is that the more money the business makes the more money they can potentially make.
I like to start off their training with an example of a time when I was treated badly as a customer and invite them to think of a similar time to share. Recognize what it was that the person or place did to make them feel like their business wasn’t important and build on that. get them to see how everything they do leaves an impression. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. How would YOU like to be treated when you are looking to spend money? All it takes is ONE time and you could, and more than likely will, lose that customer for life, along with anyone that person talks to about their experience. The ripple effect is unimaginably large.
Don’t hire anyone that thinks they’re above answering the phone. No exceptions. No way around it. The phone is a huge deal for me. Tone says it all! If someone is calling you then they OBVIOUSLY need you. This is often the first step to get them to actually come into your store or to sell them a service. You also want to be sure that whoever is answering the phone is doing so correctly. This can make or break you. The person representing your business over the phone needs to act like the customer is right in front of them meaning nothing but respect and helpfulness. I invite you to remember how you feel the next time you talk to someone on the phone that couldn’t care less about you or what you are calling about. Sometimes I want to crawl through the phone and strangle them!!!
After this you can go over how you want them to represent your business. In retail some places are really laid back and maybe too much. I always hate seeing an employee not paying attention to any customers and a manager doing the same is incorrigible. If a customer has to seek you out for the first interaction, you are already on your way to disappointing them. There’s nothing worse than seeing many employees but not being able to get the help you need. Businesses that come to mind here are Half Priced Books, Office Depot, Target, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s (employees here practically run away from customers). I just want to tell them “I’m so sorry to bother you but I need your assistance” in a slight sarcastic tone. Other places are too overbearing with multiple sales people confronting you and interrupting your shopping. That’s just annoying. If that business has that many people on payroll not doing anything but annoying customers constantly then that company is wasting money. If a customer has made it towards the back of the store then they should have already been greeted and employees need to trust each other on that if you have trained them correctly. Businesses like this that come to mind are Bath and Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, and Sephora. I like a happy medium. When a customer walks in I greet them with a simple hello and ask if there’s anything they need help with. If they need help you can get right to it which lets them know they are important to you. If they say they are just looking by all means, let them look!!! They can’t find anything to BUY with you breathing down their neck and they can’t ask you any questions about the item(s) if they can’t find you. Tell them that if they need anything to just let you know. The you can happily help when you are needed. I really don’t like sales people stalking me. No one wants to feel like they are being followed!
If my expectations are not met on how I should be treated as a customer I have NO problem finding another place to shop. I think the thing I dislike the most is patronizing a place that doesn’t deserve my business.
Lastly, have them watch and learn. the best think you can do is have your employees learn from the best, YOU! By watching you, you give them the dialog, the positive attitude, and confidence to help customers. It’s amazing how far a simple greeting will go. It will set you apart and above the rest!
As I have said before, you wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for your customers!