6 Tools for Increasing Your Sales with Amazing Customer Service

We just had to share the article below from Shep Hyken about 6 Tools for Increasing Your Sales with Amazing Customer Service.  Enjoy!

 

Implementing six simple customer service strategies can skyrocket your business to new levels in terms of attracting new and repeat customers and increasing sales.

I compiled these strategies during the research for my upcoming book as I interviewed the successful retailers of Ace Hardware. I selected Ace to serve as the ultimate role model of amazing customer service in my book, Amaze Every Customer Every Time (Sept. 3, 2013), because Ace uses customer service to win the retail game – even against much larger competitors such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. Ace Hardware is promoted as the helpful place, and its retailers take the tag line seriously. As I talked with them, there were several themes of customer service that came up consistently. They may sound simple, but they’re the basic tactics that any business needs as a foundation to succeed.

1. First Impression – How you greet the customer – in person or on the phone – is important to making him or her feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated. Begin with a sincere greeting and you will have set the proper tone for the rest of the interaction.

2. Determine their Needs – You want to ascertain the reason the customer is visiting or calling your business. Asking “May I help you?” often doesn’t elicit enough of an answer to determine if you can meet the customer’s needs. Instead of that standard, stale question, or a similarly detached “yes or no” question, ask an open-ended question that will prompt the customer to relay the information you truly need. Asking something such as “What are you in need of today?” will guide the customer to offering specific information that you can use to meet his or her needs.

3. Ask a Follow-up Question – Once customers have told you the specific item they are shopping for, ask a “why” question: “Why do you need to purchase paint today, Mr. Smith?” Learning more about why the customer needs a particular product or service will help ensure that you provide the right kind of service. It may also reveal opportunities to upsell – suggesting other merchandise that the customer may need as well.

4. Upselling – When appropriate, you can suggest additional purchases to the customer. And even though the word “sell” is contained in it, upselling is an important part of customer service. You are (hopefully) well-versed in the products that you sell, and understand how they are used. Going back to the example of a customer who is purchasing paint – in most cases, a painting project requires other equipment such as brushes, rollers, tape, etc. You would not be doing a good job of serving your customer if you did not try to make sure he or she has everything needed for the project before leaving the store. Ace Hardware understands this and teaches its associates to ask questions and ensure the customer purchases all needed products in his or her first visit and doesn’t have to spend more time returning for forgotten items.

5. Anything Else? – Just as you have tried to make sure the customer has the first product he/she mentioned, as well as necessary related items, don’t forget to ask if there is anything else. They may have another item to purchase – perhaps an entire list of items – or may simply need more information. You don’t want to lose out on any opportunities by assuming the transaction is complete.

6. Express Gratitude – Always let the customer know you appreciate his or her business by offering a sincere “Thank you” as you end the interaction. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and an expression of gratitude will leave the customer with a positive last impression.

Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and best-selling author. For more information on Shep’s speaking presentations, call 314-692-2200, email shep@hyken.com or go to www.hyken.com.

 

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