Great customer service starts with one & is multiplied by many.
Author: Jocelyn Serone
How can customer service be so different from store to store?
How you ever noticed how staff at one shop are amazingly helpful & the next shop keeper won’t even lift their head when you walk in? I have local shops that I absolutely love to shop at & others I stay miles away from. There are some I would be happy to pay extra for their products, just because the advice & experience of the staff is extremely helpful. Some stores, however, make me very grateful for the existence of eBay!
As an example, we have 4 Bunnings stores (for overseas readers, Bunnings is an Australian chain of hardware stores) within a 45 minute drive of my town. Customer service at 2 of these stores are ok, with some of the staff very knowledgeable- you just have to find those people on the day you are there :) From talking to these people, they are usually former tradespeople, so their advice comes from years of experience. The staff at another Bunnings store is absolutely hopeless, so much so that I have boycotted it! (To be fair to this store, it has only been opened a year, so hopefully with a little experience, the staff’s attitude may change). The fourth store is absolutely amazing!!!! There has never been a time that we have shopped at this store without a staff person asking if they can help in some way. They then proceed to help, even taking me to the correct aisle to show me exactly which bolt I am needing & do not leave until they are positive that I am happy with the item I am about to purchase.
The reason I am mentioning these Bunnings stores is not to put down Bunnings in any way, but to show how much leadership & general attitude of staff can change the whole atmosphere in a shop. I would expect that all Bunnings stores have the same code of conduct & that training for staff in these stores would all have the same fundamental themes, so why is it that 4 stores in close proximity can all have such a different atmosphere?
I don’t know the manager of my favourite Bunnings store-I probably should be on a first name basis with him/her, for all the goods I buy there! (note to self… research Bunnings share prices, they could work out cheaper in the long run :) ) Anyway, my point is that for a whole store to be wonderful with a huge range of staff in different age brackets & life experiences, this helpful & caring vibe can only come from the top of the chain- the manager. There is obviously a culture in this store that inspires the staff to be their best & it shows.
The purpose of this article is to make you think about the shops you love & those you would never step inside again. Maybe you could take the bits you love from these businesses & transpose them into your own business. Ask some questions like what culture is your business presenting? Do you and/or your staff project the vibe & atmosphere you want your brand to reflect?
As a consumer, I appreciate great customer service- as a business owner, this starts with me.
I would love to hear your views on this topic- please leave a comment below.