Repeat Business Starts with ‘the Greet’

Repeat Business Starts with ‘the Greet’

In any interaction, whether it’s a visit to a retail store, a call to a contact center or the click of a mouse to view an e-commerce site, “the Greet” is the first step to creating a personal connection with a customer. In my new book, The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business, I talk about ‘Welcomers’; associates who innately see the customer as a person first, a customer second. They need little or no training to automatically make a customer feel welcomed, important and appreciated.

When a customer walks into a store, a Welcomer’s smile is evident and welcoming, whether they have met before or not. When a Welcomer answers the phone, it’s as if they were greeting a neighbor and their response to an email inquiry is not only timely but will sound like it was written by a friend – or someone who you would like to have as a friend.

But Welcomers are rare. More frequently you will encounter Robots; those frontline associates who view the customer as just one more person to process. The good news is that I have found that many robots do want to communicate a more welcoming feeling, but they just don’t know how to do it. Therefore, I developed a tool kit for Welcomer-wannabees to help them think and act the way a Welcomer would. This tool kit is divided into three segments: ‘the Greet’, ‘the Assist’ and ‘the Leave-Behind’. Employed together, these three components will help any business generate repeat customers.

First, let’s focus on the tools for the Greet:

➢ Give a big hello as if you know the person.

➢ If you do recognize the person, and know his/her name, use the name; if you don’t know their name, ask for it and try to remember it for their next visit or call.

➢ Tell the customer your name, even if it is on your badge: “Hi, my name is Mary Associate.”

➢ If you don’t remember the customer’s name the next time you see them, say, “I’m sorry, what is your name? I forget.” They will appreciate that you remembered them and tried to recall their name.

➢ Be aware of what customers are wearing, carrying, holding; compliment them where appropriate and be genuine.

➢ Then ask “How can I help you today?”

In this era of anonymity, people are more stressed than ever. Getting a big, warm hello can go a long way in this age of impersonal technology, multi-tasking and high anxiety environments. People love to hear their name. It can automatically turn a Robotic encounter into one that is personalized and starts to build an emotional connection that can last a lifetime. These simple steps can transform the interaction and the customer’s perception of the business.

I will elaborate on the tools for the Assist and the Leave-Behind in future posts. What other tools would you add to “the Greet”?

 

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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