Learn how to ensure you make a positive first impression with your customers. Discover how to organize your store so it is well merchandized, making it convenient and easy for both you and your customers to navigate.
- You've likely heard the saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In retail customer service, first impressions are the key to setting the tone of a customer's experience. You need to make the best first impression you can on all your customers. I was recently traveling in Italy. As I was waiting for my flight in the Rome airport, I noticed some high-end shops and retail stores. I glanced at one clothing store in particular. It was clean and bright. Each piece of clothing was immaculately folded or hung.
There was contemporary music playing throughout the store. The sales associate was well manicured, professionally dressed with a friendly smile on her face. My first impression of this store was what a great place to shop! Now I didn't end up shopping since my suitcase was already full, but my first impression, even from a distance, was positive. Think for a minute, what's the first impression your customers get when they visit your store or place of business? Do they feel welcome? Is your environment clean, organized, inviting? How do you show up? Let's examine three key ways you can create an amazing first impression for your retail customers.
First, take control of your physical environment. Make sure that the floors, the windows, and the counter spaces are all clean and presentable. Your products and shelving must also be clean. Make sure your signage and lighting is clear and bright as well. If it's not, talk to your manager about how you can help. If it's not your job to clean the store, talk to whose responsibility it is and ask how you can help them. When you do, your customers will be more likely to begin their interaction with you on a positive note.
Next, maintain your own physical appearance and hygiene. Your customers will judge your appearance in the first seven seconds of meeting you. Make sure you have clean, neat clothes, if appropriate. If you wear a uniform, is it ironed and pressed? Are your shoes clean and shined? Have you showered and is your hair combed? This will show your customers that you are professional and they can count on you to help them. Your personal hygiene must also be consistent with your brand's image.
For instance, someone working in an athletic shoe store might wear shorts and sneakers, but a person selling fine jewelry will be in a nice suit or dress and have their nails manicured. Make sure you're presenting yourself in the best possible light. Finally, make sure that your environment is organized, especially if you display merchandise and products in your store. Make sure your products are in order and arranged so that they're pleasing to the eye. And make sure prices are clear and easy to read.
Check to see that all of your products and services are easy to find and identify. Also, keep your customer records organized and make sure your work area is easy to navigate so you can quickly find customer information. You don't want to keep them waiting. When you take control of your environment, yourself, your organizational skills, you'll set yourself up for success when it comes to making an amazing first impression. Now, take a minute and look around your store. Write down three things that can help you and your team create an amazing first impression.
Share those with your manager and ask how you can contribute to improving them.
In this course, learn techniques to deal with upset customers, and show empathy with active listening. Instructor and customer service expert David Brownlee—the author of Rock Star Customer Service—also provides etiquette tips to ensure quality service at every point of interaction: from the moment customers walk in the door to keeping them happy while they're on hold.
- Why it matters to deliver good service
- Creating a positive attitude
- Delivering a good first impression
- Dealing with upset customers
- How to listen
- Retail etiquette, including phone etiquette