retail customer serviceRetail customer service goes a long way and pays off well when you engage such principles in your business in an excellent manner.. Today, as I took my son to a local fast food restaurant for lunch and so he could play in the indoor playground, I witnessed a retail customer service miracle in action. While waiting for our food, a woman approached to the counter with a crushed styrofoam cup and said “this cup fell off our table and broke. I need another drink and someone to come clean up our table and floor.” Her tone came across as seemingly blaming the restaurant for her broken cup. There was no hint of apology or acknowledgment that the mess may have been the work of her children.

That’s when the retail customer service miracle occurred. Rather than replying in an equally rude manner, the staff quickly gave her a new drink. One of them smiled and said that he would be glad to clean it up for her even though, as they would probably expect, they got no “thank you” from the customer. They displayed quality retail customer service as they all acted in a professional manner matched with an attitude that suggests that they love having the opportunity to serve each other and every person in the restaurant.

To no surprise, the place is always in its busy hours. The restaurant is clean, the management conducts various school spirit fundraising nights for our community, and the food is better than most restaurants like it. Moreover, the excellent retail customer service they display just makes you want to keep coming back.

Watching customer service interaction is something I love to do while it is, at the same time, something I do for work. Today was a true-to-life example of the 21 Rules for Excellent Retail Customer Service that we share with those participants who take up our courses. Most tips are actually easy to follow, yet difficult to do so consistently.

If you are someone who is involved in customer service, it would be wise for you to go through this list and see how closely you follow such rules.

21 Rules for Excellent Retail Customer Service

  • Whether you are greeting a customer in person or over the phone, always smile. Believe it or not, even those whom you speak to on the phone can tell when you aren’t.
  • Never address women and older customers as “guys”. Be sensitive enough to use greetings that are age-appropriate to your client.
  • Excel in your retail customer service by being proactive enough to be the one to ask how you may be of service.
  • Stay visible and available, but make sure to not hover.
  • When a customer approaches, never turn away, walk away, start a phone call, or duck beneath the counter. This is a common occurrence in retail customer service.
  • Prioritize the customer standing in front of you over anyone who calls you on the phone.
  • Never judge. Regardless of age or appearance, all customers deserve your undivided attention when they seek provide retail customer service.
  • Leave food and beverages in the break room to avoid disruption of quality service.
  • Customers wouldn’t want to hear about your upcoming breaks.
  • Only make personal calls on break or out of earshot.
  • Never reply with an “I don’t know” unless you intend to finish it with a “but I can find out for you”.
  • Go to the stockroom and try to find what your customer wants, even if it isn’t on display.
  • If you fail to find it in the stock room, offer to order it for your customer by calling another store for them.
  • Discern when your customer needs help by learning to read body language.
  • Don’t be manipulated by chatty customers if there are still other customers to be waited on.
  • Make retail customer service more efficient by calling backup support when lines are forming.
  • When a customer’s credit card is declined, ask if there is another method of payment they would like to use, while being discrete about it.
  • Never discuss customers in front of other customers as it is implied to them that you will speak about them as well when they leave.
  • Before bagging your merchandise, inspect and check if there are defects or if it came in the wrong size.
  • Make sure the customers leave your store with everything they’ve paid for.
  • Even as your customer leaves, don’t forget to smile! This will encourage them to come back.

As an extra tip, do your best to give people more than what they expect from your services. This is sure to up your game in terms of excellence in your company’s retail customer service.

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