Anyone can speak to you, but not everyone can make you want to buy. Become the business person who makes every client feel special, encouraging them to invest in the company by purchasing your goods and services.
Become the best sales person possible with five quick steps. The first step to engage customers is to greet them with a friendly tone within three to five seconds of walking through your business’s doors. So often in retail, customers may be ignored due to staff helping others. Assign a greeter for the door to ensure every client is greeted. This is your first contact with the customer and your only chance to make a good impression.
The second step is to listen with an open ear. Many sales people and business owners approach a conversation with an upset customer with a response in mind as opposed to truly listening to the person’s concerns. Open listening means hearing what the customer says and then proposing solution compromises to answer their concern if possible. It does not mean giving them a canned response like so many telemarketers do today.
In the third step, learn the definition of customer compromise. Many times a customer is seeking a solution you have available, but often it is up to a customer service representative’s mood if a client receives a satisfactory response. Telling customers you cannot refund or cannot order an item could break their loyalty permanently to your company.
A well known dating site online, for example, tells its clients they will not reimburse payments even if the membership is renewed by error. By terms of customer service, this company is challenged. Instead, find alternatives if you are unable to offer precisely what the customer is requesting.
Boosting your mobile and onlinepresence is the key to step four. Simply having a listing on Foursquare, Yelp, Google Plus, Facebook or the other social media platforms will not do. Engage on those social media sites. Promote restaurant and retail deals there, and for non-retail businesses post article links that may help your customers. Europeans are major users of social media check-in tools. Should you receive a bad comment or feedback online, contact the person directly or on the open comment section to apologize for their experience and request they contact you for a satisfactory solution. Often, this encourages the user to remove negative feedback or to follow up with positive feedback.
In step five, conduct a three to four question survey. A good benchmark is to make sure 75 percent or more of clients participate. Asking, “How did you hear about us,” helps businesses gauge what advertising works or which client to reward for referrals. Make sure to ask what product or service the customer would like you to offer and give them multiple choice answer options. No survey is complete without asking about the customer service, which ultimately may determine if this customer returns. Allow customers the option to either include or not include their names and numbers. For every customer that fills out a survey, give them a coupon in return.
Forward-thinking and positive leadership sets an example for employees and may help raise your customer engagement standards. In January’s column, learn how to create and what steps to include in customer service standards.
Camden Smith, owner of DREAMFly Marketing LLC, has more than eight years expertise in branding and marketing strategy and 13 years in public relations. Formerly a WINK-TV reporter, Smith is an award-winning PR strategist and lives in Naples with her husband. Visit Smith at dreamflymarketing.com