Here’s a question for your team that will identify your chances of survival and success in the next couple of years. What is your purpose when you serve a customer?
How will your frontline team answer this question? Picture them, will they say:
- To ensure the customers buy all they want and need.
- To process the transaction accurately and efficiently.
- To ensure the customer gets a good deal.
- To get them out the store as quickly as possible so that I can get on with the paperwork, stocking the shelves or whatever tasks the boss has given me.
- To serve them quickly so that I can attend to other customers.
While some of these answers are better than others, they won’t set you apart from the big retailers dominating most markets or help you compete effectively with internet shopping.
Here’s the answer I would like to see to the question "What is your purpose when you serve a customer?"
“To get your customers to come back.”
It’s the Boomerang Principle. The question we should be continually asking ourselves and discussing with our colleagues is, “Do you think that customer will come back?” And if you can’t answer the question, why is that? Were you just going through the motions?
You process the transaction not the customer; you need to connect with each customer. To do this, ask questions, listen, clarify, identify and solve their wants and needs, process the transaction accurately and efficiently and make them feel glad that they chose to shop with you.
Yet so often this doesn’t happen and opportunities to win and keep the customer are being lost in many stores, many times every day.