Make Customers Smile and Increase Sales

By Kirt Manecke

Make Customers Smile and Increase SalesCustomer service is important to your retail store because first impressions matter…a lot! The employee greeting your customers and answering the phone is the most important person in your store from a customer service standpoint. They are the first contact with your customers, and they must make your customers smile. Sadly, amazing customer service has become the exception, not the norm. Poor customer service costs U.S. businesses an estimated $83 billion a year, according to Genesys. While 80 percent of companies think they are providing superior service, customers say only 8 percent are hitting the mark (Bain and Company).

Here are two quick and easy critical customer service techniques you and your staff can implement today to start delighting your customers to keep them smiling, coming back and telling their friends about your store.

Smile and greet customers

Indifference is one of the biggest reasons people don’t return to a business.

When a customer enters your place of business, greet them promptly and politely, just as you would greet a guest in your home. Make it a genuine, heartfelt smile. Look your customer in the eye and say hello, in a warm, upbeat and friendly manner. This may sound basic, but you would be surprised how many sales people fail to greet their customers properly. Indifference is one of the biggest reasons people don’t return to a business. Indifference is one of the biggest reasons people don’t return to a business.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, first impressions occur instantaneously or within two seconds. A simple smile and friendly hello are extremely powerful and can mean the difference between a customer spending their money with you, and possibly becoming a customer for life, and walking out the door to spend it with your competition.

The Smile Study

In The New York Times bestseller Buyology, Martin Lindstrom discusses “The Smile Study.” Its bottom line? A smile from a salesperson leads to more sales. A positive first impression sets the tone and dynamics for all future interactions and transactions. It can make all the difference in the world in transforming customer service and increasing sales.

Answer the phone with a smile

When you answer the phone at your place of business, it is critical that you make a great first impression. How do you find the right tone? It is simple. Smile as you answer the phone. You may not realize it, but a smile totally changes the tone of your voice. Try it and you will find that your happy, smiling voice will delight your customers and create a positive impression of you and your business.

Here’s how:

1. Smile and say: “Good morning (or afternoon or evening).” Be sure to speak clearly.

2. State the complete name of your business, or say: “Welcome to                [your complete business name].”

3. Say: “This   is                   [your name].  How may I help you?”

When your initial encounter with a customer is over the phone, 70 percent of how you are perceived is based on the tone of your voice.

When your initial encounter with a customer is over the phone, 70 percent of how you are perceived is based on the tone of your voice.

In addition, try to answer the phone within two rings, call the customer by name, when possible, and always thank the customer for calling. This type of interaction draws customers in with a warm and professional welcome. When they feel as if the person answering the phone is eager to serve them, people are more likely to become faithful customers.

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