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Last updateTue, 30 Jun 2015 12pm

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25 Customer Service Commandments

People have been in search of good service for decades, if not centuries.  Prospects and customers will continue to patronize the salespeople that provide exceptional service to them.  Good, bad, or indifferent, the service that you give when selling has a direct effect on your success in sales.  The rewards of exceptional customer service are high - completed sales, referrals, and repeat business.

1. If you say it, do it.  Nothing will upset a customer faster than not fulfilling a promise that has been made.

2. Satisfy every customer.  At the very least we need to insure that every customer we have is satisfied.  In reality a professional salesperson will attempt to take every customer to the next level, that being a personal trade customer. 

3. Keep personal problems out of business.  Everyone has personal problems.  I know that 90% of the people out there really don’t care about your personal problems, and the other 10% are probably glad that your life is more miserable than theirs. When dealing with your customers, always leave your personal issues behind.                

4. Use their name.  Customers love to be addressed by name.  Using their name gives the customer a sense of acknowledgement that you recognize their importance.  Using a customer’s name also instills a sense of personalization to the entire sales process.    

5. Dress for success. I believe that customers want to deal with professional looking salespeople.  No matter what industry you are in, you should always look your very best.         

6. Give them your full attention. Always give customers your full, complete, and undivided attention.  There is no way that you can concentrate on every word that the customer is saying if there are outside conversations taking place, the telephone is ringing off the hook, other salespeople are distracting you or any number of other occurrences that can take place.          

7. Never interrupt. Never, ever interrupt a customer for any reason whatsoever. What the customer has to say is far more important than anything you have to say.                                

8. No fast-talking. The days of the slick, fast talking salesperson are gone.  If you are talking fast and go past a word or a phrase that the customer doesn’t understand, in all likelihood you just lost a sale.    

9. Sell with enthusiasm. The amount of enthusiasm that you project in your presentation will have a direct effect on the amount of enthusiasm your clients have toward your products and services. 

10. Smile, Smile, Smile. A smile is contagious.  No one wants to deal with a sourpuss that acts as though they hate their life, your life, and everyone else on the planet’s life. 

11. The Golden Rule. Do unto others, as you would want them to do unto you.  Someone said to me recently “Do unto others as they want to be done to.” 

12. Make it fun. If it isn’t fun, it probably isn’t worth doing.  Whether it be buying or selling, the entire process has to be fun for all parties concerned. 

13. Don’t point, take. It is rude to simply point the customer in a direction. Take the extra few seconds and walk the customer over to what they were interested in, even the restroom.

14. Don’t tell people what you can’t do, only what you can do. I get so tired of hearing what people can’t do. The customer only cares about what you can do for them.

15. Acknowledge every customer within 10 seconds. At the very least a customer must be acknowledged when they walk into the store. I would prefer they are greeted, however if busy with a customer at least acknowledge them with a look or a hand gesture.

16. Look for opportunities to provide Heroic Customer Service. Offer to carry a package, walk someone to their car, help them load or unload things, use an umbrella if it is raining. These are the things that customers tend to tell others.

17. Follow proper telephone etiquette. A warm, friendly greeting, i.e. Good morning, the complete name of the business and your name, is the proper way to answer the telephone. If you have to put someone on hold, ask them if its OK. In addition, offer to take a message and make sure the message is complete.

18. Sincerely thank and invite back every customer. Whether they did business or not. To say “your receipt is in the bag, no problem, enjoy, here you go,” or “thanks,” is unacceptable. A sincere “thank you” and an invitation to return is the way to go.

19. Offer a Customer VIP Card. Most people want to be a VIP. Give them the opportunity in your store. Introduce it in a way that is customer benefited, and above all, get permission for future follow-up and an e-mail address.

20. All inquiries must be handled within 24 hours. This goes hand in hand with commandment #1. If a customer has inquired about a repair, special order, date of delivery etc. make sure you handle those situations within 24 hours and let the customer know exactly when you will be getting back to them.

21. Send a Thank You note to every customer that spends over $____. Bring back the lost service of thank you notes. You will find your customers actually come back and thank you for the thank you, thus further developing your relationship with that person.

22. Introduce yourself and attempt to get their name. Always introduce yourself and attempt to get them to tell you their name. Name tag or not, an introduction is more professional. This should be done after having a meaningful, non-business conversation.

23. Answer all questions accurately or get someone who can. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I have heard salespeople say to a customer. Don’t make up stuff, get the correct answer.

24. Review terms on all transactions requiring payments, and have customer sign documentation. Eliminate any misunderstandings on lay-aways, special orders, custom jobs, buys, loans, etc.

25. Go the extra mile. True professionals will go the extra mile and do something different to ensure that the buying experience was a memorable one. In turn you will receive word of mouth advertising. There isn’t a more powerful form of advertising than simple word of mouth.


Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.

 

The Turnover

An extremely powerful strategy for Saving the Sale is to turn it over to another salesperson.  This strategy is named the Turnover or T.O.  I want to make it clear that I do not believe in a pushy and aggressive Turnover program.  The customers’ best interests have to be foremost on your mind in giving and receiving a turnover.

Here’s to Hope!

I talk to hundreds if not thousands of retailers on a regular basis, and it continues to amaze me how many of them are hoping that things get better and the economy turns around.  I know that hope and about two dollars will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and that is about it.  To sit back and hope that things get better is going to do absolutely nothing to ensure that things do get better in your store and for your business.

If you have a competitor or two in your town, you have an opportunity for a sales and profit increase.  If you have had a competitor or two go out of business recently, you have an opportunity for a sales and profit increase.  The retail jewelry pie isn’t going to get any bigger in the near future; however, your piece of the pie can get bigger.  The day of the retail clerk are dead and gone.  The person working on your sales floor has to be a trained, professional retail salesperson.

What are you doing this year that is considerably different from last year?  What changes need to be made in the business to ensure its growth?  From a sales and sales management perspective, which is the only area with which I deal, it is time to manage the business and the people based in factual, statistical information. 

I find the biggest reason that businesses fail, or don’t reach their maximum potential is that they are managed based on opinions rather than factual information. It is time to implement non-negotiable sales and customer service standards.  It is time to leave the ego at home and realize that maybe there is a better way.

I have what I call my five silver bullets for productivity improvement. You could say that these 5 things are the great, sound business principles that need to be implemented within every organization.

They are:

  1. Goals and Objectives
  2. Coaching and Training
  3. Accountability
  4. Non-Negotiable Sales, Customer Service and Operational Standards
  5. A Training Process

For example: I know that retail jewelry store owners spend a fortune to get customers to come in the front door, and yet many owners don’t know what happened with them once they got in the front door.  The last statistic that I read said it costs $35 - $40 to get a customer to come into the store. With the industry averaging a 22% closing rate, what happens to the other 78% of the people that come in the door?  Did the sales person capture their contact information, with permission for follow-up?  Did the sales person make an appointment for a future visit?  Was the customer that didn’t buy turned over to another salesperson to give them a chance at the sale?  Or was the customer given your typical “Get out of the store free card” (a business card) and told “Come back when you are ready”? (OUCH)

When you multiply the number of customers that don’t or aren’t buying from you by $35 - $40, you can clearly see how expensive it is to have untrained people working the sales floor.  In most stores it is tens of thousands of dollars a month. The customer was ready, they were in your store, they really wanted jewelry, and yet something went wrong.  Oh well, Let’s hope they come back!

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.

 

Read any good books lately?

It seems to me that most jewelry store owners, sales managers, and salespeople are working in their store or business, not necessarily on their store or business.  You may be asking, what is the difference?  Working in your business is simply reacting to the day-to-day happenings within the organization.  Most are waiting on customers, buying merchandise, accounting for the merchandise and the receipts of the day, displaying merchandise, creating and running advertisements and doing various promotions. Others are working on their business by proactively seeking new information, reading as many business books and trade journals as possible, attending educational seminars and actually growing the business.

Quit making excuses jewelry retailers!

It’s time to step it up and quit making excuses about the economy, the state of the industry, the building bust, etc. or you may find yourself stepping aside!  I say this with the highest degree of respect for the industry and the people within it. Further, I am writing this article because I believe in the independent retailer and the small businessperson of this country and want to pass along knowledge to help them not only survive, but to thrive.

Making cuts!

With the economic conditions that exist today, I keep hearing jewelry retailers talking about making cuts in order to maintain profit.  I agree you must make some cuts today in order to maintain a profitable company, however, a cut in the wrong place can kill your business.  Let me caution you - do not cut your lifeline or your training budget.  Your salespeople are, without question, the most valuable asset that you have.  They are the first, last and middle impression that a customer has of your business.

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