by John Tschohl, author of “Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service“
Black Friday officially kicks off the biggest shopping weekend of the year, and with it comes the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday, a day where shoppers are urged to buy from small businesses in local communities across the country.
But remember to keep their eyes on service. Regardless what your business is, you are always first and foremost in the service business. Take your eyes off the customer experience and it could be the kiss of death. You have a store full of customers in your shop supporting Small Business Saturday, but why not really wow them and turn them into loyal customers who come in during the rest of the year?
Here are some suggestions on how to do it:
– Empowerment is critical on this day. Not everything is going to go as planned. Employees must make empowered decisions in favor of the customer. Managers need to let their employees know that it’s okay to make a decision in favor of the customer and there won’t be any repercussions for doing so.
– Small businesses spend so much money on advertising, but they don’t take care of the customers who are standing right there in front of them. Make sure you are properly staffed; that your employees can answer questions and direct customers to specific areas of the store; are friendly, smile, and show a genuine attitude of concern and wanting to help.
– Service is key to small businesses, and it’s how you’re going to keep customers from going to the big chains. Taking care of the little things will make all the difference. Offer plenty of free samples, free gift wrapping, free coffee and drinks, and make sure your employees are knowledgeable about the items in their departments.
– Give your customers these five things on Small Business Saturday, and they’ll becoming back the rest of the year. They are price, quality, service, empowerment and speed.
Customers want great value this weekend, but they still want incredible service.
John Tschohl is a customer service strategist, has been instructing and motivating employees, managers, supervisors and company CEO’s for 39 years. He is a best-selling author of more than seven books on customer service, including his latest releases “Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service” and “Empowerment: A Way Of Life“. He is president of The Service Quality Institute, the global leader in customer service training and development.