It’s midnight, the first day of January, and the world is celebrating! It’s a New Year!! Technically and physically nothing is different about the initial moments of 2014 compared to the last minutes of the year before. We are still the same person. What’s changed is that we have hope. We have aspirations of good health, being more successful and even happier than we were just seconds before. Hope is important; in fact, it is vital. Hope is one of our strongest emotions and what we hold on to. Hope has given strength to individuals to survive sickness, poverty and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Customers have hope too. It’s their first thought. It’s even stronger than expectations. Customers are people first, customers second. People have feelings. They are not robots. While finding that special outfit or newest gadget might not be as important as good health, it does make people feel happy. That’s why we all keep hoping.
Employ some of the following suggestions and the result will be giving customers hope that they are spending their hard-earned dollars in the right place.
Feel welcomed – By greeting customers with a smile, a pleasant and warm voice and tone, they will feel that your company is looking forward to helping them. People like to be treated like a friend or neighbor.
Listened to – Hearing the customer’s enthusiasm, concern, anger, frustration and acknowledging it creates an instant connection. Don’t just answer the customer’s question; let the customer know you really listened.
Educated – Customers may not always find exactly what they were looking for, but learning something new along the way is also valued. Letting customers know when the store is expecting new merchandise, that an upcoming sale is taking place, what the return policy is for gift purchases, are valued and helpful. It also conveys the feeling that the associate cares and wants to spend time and provide fuller explanations.
Appreciated – People want to feel appreciated for selecting your place of business over your competitors. Merchandise is a commodity; extending appreciation makes the customer feel special. Showing appreciation makes the person more likely to come back.
Remembered – Customers like when the associate who helped them on their previous visit, recognizes them even if they don’t recall their name. It makes them feel good. Instructing your associates to have the customer ask for them on future visits is a great idea, and providing their schedule or telephone number reinforces their message of wanting to help that customer again.
Talk to your associates about hope. They understand; of course they are customers and people, too. Putting into action the above recommendations will help to guarantee success for your company. Your customer isn’t really a customer just with one transaction, but by returning to purchase again.
Happy New Year! I wish that 2014 provides you and your families everything they are hoping for.