DOs and DON'Ts for Creating a Positive Customer Experience

DOs and DON'Ts for Creating a Positive Customer Experience
Whether you work in a restaurant, an electronics store, a movie theater, or any other retail setting, customer satisfaction plays a major role in the success of that business. One of the most important things that a retail employee can do is make certain that customers have a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Interactions with employees is a critical part of the overall customer experience. Greater satisfaction occurs when their expectations have not only been met but exceeded. It is their perception of how they are being treated that matters most. The DOs and DON'Ts below will help guide your contact with customers in a way that positively influences these perceptions.

Customer Service DOs

  • Acknowledge and greet customers.
  • Always give customers your full attention.
  • Treat all customers with courtesy and respect, even those who are rude or confrontational.
  • Make customers feel important, and let them know that you appreciate their business.
  • Use a friendly but professional tone and avoid slang words.
  • Be welcoming and pleasant at all times. Let customers know that you’re available to help.
  • Be proactive by offering help or suggestions to customers who look frustrated or confused.
  • Listen carefully to what the customer says or asks, restating your understanding if you’re unsure. Respond in a way that directly addresses the issue and will be clearly understood.
  • Do your best to answer questions with confidence. If you don’t know the answer, take steps to find out.
  • When asked for product suggestions, focus on meeting the customer’s needs. Avoid pushing a certain product because it is the most expensive, or because it is YOUR personal favorite.
  • Go the extra mile. Offer to check the stockroom or another store location for merchandise that is not on the shelf.
  • The customer in front of you is your top priority. Politely put telephone callers on hold until you have finished with the in-store customer.
  • Manage the customer who tries to control too much of your time. Try to end the conversation without being rude.
  • Look and feel your best. Dress appropriately, be well groomed, and carry yourself well.
  • Smile and maintain a positive attitude.

Additional “DOs” When Working a Cash Register

  • Greet waiting customers, and thank them for their patience. Request help if you see that long lines are forming.
  • Connect with the customer by asking questions or making friendly comments such as:
    • Did you find everything you need?
    • Thanks for your business.
    • Please come back soon.
    • Have a great day.
  • When bagging purchases, check that items are not damaged, have all security tags removed, and don’t allow packages to get left behind.
  • Mention related products that the customer may also wish to consider.
  • Always give customers the opportunity to share their thoughts about their experiences by asking if everything was to their satisfaction. (If the experience was negative, don’t be defensive! Apologize, thank the customer for his or her comments, and explain that you’ll be looking into the situation. Then take steps to address the issue, involving your supervisor if appropriate.)

Customer Service DON'Ts

  • Never act as if the customer is a bother, or that helping him or her is an inconvenience.
  • Never avoid or ignore customers, or tell them that you’re too busy to help them. Always make eye contact and let them know that you’re available to help – even if it means turning attention away from another task for a few minutes.
  • Don’t pester customers or invade their space. Stay visible, but from a comfortable distance.
  • Avoid becoming too pushy when trying to sell a product or service.
  • Criticizing co-workers, customers, your employer, or its products or services is not appropriate in the workplace.
  • Avoid personal phone calls, texting, or socializing with other employees while customers are present.
  • Avoid sharing too much personal information with customers. Be friendly, but keep conversations on a polite and professional level.
  • Don’t assume that only jobs involving direct customer contact affect the customer experience. Even if you don’t regularly interact with customers, be aware that how you perform your job can have an impact upon how they view your employer. Take your role in ensuring customer satisfaction seriously.

Positive Customer Service Language

Below are examples of phrases that shouldn’t be used with customers, and suggestions for more suitable alternatives.

Instead of…
What I can do for you is…
I can’t do that.
I will find out for you.
I don’t know.
I will find someone in that area to help you.
That’s not my job or department.
Please give me your phone number and I will call you when the next shipment comes in.
We are out of that.
I think there has been a misunderstanding.
You are wrong.
Are you able to hold a moment?
Hold on.

As a retail employee, you play a major role in providing your customers with the best experience possible. Regardless of your specific job, it is within your power to help keep customers satisfied, loyal, and returning to your place of business again and again. Doing so will also improve your own career fulfillment and success. All it takes is a positive attitude!

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