I've been working in the retail industry for 6+ years and during that time I have conducted many interviews, hired and trained numerous staff members and helped individuals reach their potentials in the workplace, but the one thing I found most important throughout the years, is that customer service is something that cannot be taught, only strengthened over time.
A company's level of customer service really depends on the quality of their employees. A company cannot say they provide excellent service without keeping their staff in mind. Key individuals are what drive your customer experience, raise your service level and increase customer retention. It doesn't matter if you work face to face with your customers, over the phone, or through the many avenues of communication on the Internet, if you want your company to grow you must understand that customer service is one, vital to all organizations and two, is a personal choice of each one of your employees. Your associates as well as yourself should have the drive to want to help people solve their problems. You have to hire good people that genuinely want to be nice to other people with good morals and ethical judgement. Train your staff on how to interact with your customers to ensure a consisted level of customer service throughout your business and get rid of anyone with a bad attitude. Think of examples to present to your staff of good and bad customer service you have experienced with other businesses, why it was good or bad and what or what not to do if they were in that situation. Lastly, think of your staff, who would you want interacting with your customers and who would you not? Maybe it's time for a change.
One more thing, we all have to deal with angry, upset customers on a regular basis, so don't be "that guy/gal" to someone else or some other business because your expectations are not being met. Rather inform a manager in a respectful manner to give them an opportunity to coach the associate.
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