SUNBIZ

Customer Service – Part 3

I would like to begin this column by highlighting the fact that a customer service executive is one of the most fundamental pillars for enhancing sales and eventual success of
16 Jun 2018 11:00
Customer Service – Part 3
Mayur Kalbag

I would like to begin this column by highlighting the fact that a customer service executive is one of the most fundamental pillars for enhancing sales and eventual success of a shopping store or a business venture.

I say this because even the best product with the best price could still remain unsold if the customer service executive is not present to guide the customer.

I remember an instance when I had walked into an electronic store as I was keen to buy a Laptop.

I noticed that most of the products there were at amazingly low prices due to the heavy discounts they were offering.

There were seven laptops and almost all of them were at the same ‘low’ price and they were all with similar configuration.

Add to that, they all were also reputed brands! The product, in this case, the Laptop as well as the ‘price’ both were best and yet I was facing what is known as the ‘Problem of Plenty’.

I stood there for fifteen minutes not knowing which one to finally buy. Eventually I decided on a particular one but was still unsure because I had too many choices.

All through this there was not one single customer service executive who tried to help me. I saw a few chatting with one another and some were even busy immersed in their respective mobile phones.

They surely must have assumed that customers will come and choose their products but that was not true.  There are some customers like us who are unsure and need guidance or help from the customer service executive.

I have stated this scenario only to highlight the fact that each and every customer service executive is extremely important to that business which is keen to increase its profits through enhanced sales through more and better customers.

I also wish to say that despite the best products at the lowest prices customers need a customer service executive to guide and help them to make their decision!

 

Prioritisation and Classification of your customer-

To enhance the sale of products in a shop for any business it is not just the way the customer service executive interacts with the customer.

I firmly believe that one of the very important requirements for any business to increase its sales and profits is to ‘prioritise’ on specific ‘parameters’.

What I am referring to is what is also known as Customer Classification based upon their ‘regularity of Visits’; ‘Loyalty to the specific branch or shop’; Preferences of products and a few other parameters as well.

A customer service executive or manager must make these important classifications as it will always help him and his team in gaining more business from these customers.

For example, a loyal customer could be given a higher discount and be made to feel special.

Through prioritisation and classification a list of customers can also be made of those who are not regular visitors to the shop and this information can be used in developing a plan to convert them from irregular to regular customers.

Customer classification and bifurcation can play an important role in not only strengthening your existing ‘Customer Base’ but also can help in adding new customers.

There are extremely creative and innovative Customer Retention and Motivation Initiatives which a Sales manager as well as his team members can develop if only they sit together and have a very focused and inspired ‘Brainstorming session’.

Remember we must that today’s world is extremely competitive and attracting new customers as well as retaining the loyalty of the existing customers is of utmost importance. Start creating the Structured ‘classifications and prioritization processes of your customers and think of way new ideas and Creative Displays and such things with the aim of enhancing the ‘sale’!

 

Building a Sense of ownership

Roneel was one of the many sales executives I had met at a very popular shopping mall.

I was there looking around when he came and tried to assist me.

He even suggested some things that I had not even planned to buy.

Thanks to him I ended up becoming a satisfied and loyal customer.

Almost eight years later I had the opportunity to travel to Labasa for some work.

It was late in the evening and I asked one of my local office colleagues about any place he thought I could have dinner at.

“Oh yes! There is a one place that has come up only six months ago and it has the best food in town! I will take you there” he told me “Oh great!” I replied.

An hour later my colleague and I were there, at this restaurant. As I entered I saw the Manager come up to me.

“Welcome Sir, let me usher you and the other Sir to the table” he said in an extremely polite tone. We ordered the food and the service was excellent. I was also extremely impressed with the ‘attitude’ of all the customer service people there.

The dinner was done and that is when the manager came to me with a small sheet of paper. “Sir, we would like your feedback and also your suggestions to help us become better than what we are today.

Also please share your date of birth and some other details for us to be in touch with you” Saying this he walked away. I did the needful and returned the paper. I was so impressed with all this that I expressed my desire to know who the owner was. I asked the Manager, “Please can I know who owns this place?”

“Sure Sir, his name is Mr. Roneel. He started this place and now he plans to start another branch in Suva.

Sir, he is here in this restaurant today and is actually doing some paperwork in our office just behind this restaurant.

I am sure he will be happy to meet you and your friend especially since you have come to this place for the first time” the Manager said. “Oh that will be nice although I need to go back to the hotel soon” I replied.

“I will call him right now” saying this he rushed to the back of the restaurant and within minutes I saw him with a person that looked very familiar. “Oh my god!” I exclaimed. “Roneel, aren’t you the same person I had met at that shopping mall many years ago?” I asked.

“Hello Sir! I remember you very well. You had appreciated my service and even spoken to my manager about me” he said to me with a big smile and continued.

“Sir, I was judged as the best customer service executive for three years in a row. I was promoted to the position of General Manager in the shortest period of time.

It was recently that the owner of the same mall where I was working decided to start a restaurant and he offered me the opportunity to run this restaurant on a ‘profit –sharing basis’” “Wow, awesome!” I exclaimed in happiness.

“Dear Roneel, I just have one question for you. How did you accomplish all this?” I asked him as I was truly curious.

He replied, “Sir, apart from things like effective communication, positive attitude and product knowledge what the owner of the mall told me was that I had a very strong ‘sense of ownership’ towards the organisation I was working for.

He said that the attitude of Ownership and Responsibility made me execute each and every task in the best way and that is what made me the highest rated performer.

Dear Sir, I have developed the same attitude of Ownership in my team and that is why you gave a positive feedback to all of us.” His words were an eye opener for me and I left the restaurant a more educated man.

Dear friends, I believe every story has a wonderful lesson and I am sure this one too would have made us learn a few things!

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

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