Learn how to use positive communication to build relationships with your customers, vendors, co-workers, and management. It also positively impacts you by enjoying your time at work, along with boosting your morale and your productivity.
- One of the most important tools for finding success in retail customer service, is positive communication. It's the root of all excellent customer interactions. Positive communication is all about connecting with your customers and moving them towards happiness. You do this through nonverbal communication, verbal communication and focused attention. All of your customer interactions begin before you even say or do anything for them. Your communication starts with your nonverbal cues.
When a customer enters your store, how are they greeted? With a smile? A frown? Open arms? Folded arms? Eye contact? Or, a blank stare? You have control of how that customer will perceive you and your brand in that moment. You not only represent yourself, but also your establishment. The first step to positive communication is to take control of your nonverbal cues and use them in a friendly and inviting way.
Start by smiling. Make sure your arms aren't folded and keep your hands out of your pockets, and off your cellphone. Make eye contact and put yourself in a positive attitude. Next, use language that is positive and friendly. Use an upbeat greeting and introduce yourself. Remember, you're building a relationship with this customer, whether they're in your store for five minutes, or keep coming back for five years. You must do your part to make them feel welcome.
Focus on telling the customer what you can do for them, instead of what you can't. Now, let's say a customer has a request that you can't fulfill. You can use one of the most powerful lines in delivering world-class retail customer service. Say, "I wish I could. "What I can do for you is." This shows that you care about the customer and you're doing everything you can to solve their problem. Also, avoid using the word no, whenever possible.
Nobody likes to be told no, and it can take a positive conversation and turn it negative quickly. Last, give that customer your undivided attention. Listen intently to what your customer wants and respond appropriately. This is huge. Your customers know if you're paying attention to them or not. Let me share a quick story with you, to show you how this all comes together. I'm on the road a lot, traveling around the country and internationally for my work. One night, I had just flown into a town where I was giving a talk the next day.
I was tired from traveling and all the security lines, but excited to get to my hotel. I'm part of a rewards program and use this hotel that is known for excellent customer service. I've been staying there for years and have always had a positive experience, until that night. As soon as I walked in, the person at the check-in counter looked at me and rolled her eyes as though I was about to interrupt her. She frowned at me and said, "Welcome to the hotel. "Glad you're staying here." Nice words, but without sincerity it meant nothing.
Her nonverbal cues definitely spoke louder than her words. I eventually got a good nights sleep and the rest of the staff were stellar, but that greeting still set the tone and it made me consider switching my rewards program. So, make sure you use positive communication with every customer you encounter. You'll enjoy your job more. Your customers will enjoy their experience more and you'll continue to create positive opportunities for yourself, like promotions, pay raises, and recognition.
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