A recent article I read (I don't recall where I saw it) stated that many customers now expect less-than-great service when they shop. The first thought that jumped into my mind was the incredible opportunity this gives the smart retailer.
If your competition provides average service, you have the opportunity to increase your marketshare simply by improving your service. But what does this entail? Or, how do you define good or great service?
Certainly service is a personal issue and what is important to one customer barely matters to someone else. However, I believe there are two key ingredients that almost everyone looks for.
1. Friendly & helpful staff. This means employees who smile at customers. Sales associates who have a positive demeanor. Employees who possess a genuine interest in other people. Teach your employees to be proactive in helping customers rather than waiting for your customers to take the initiative.
2. Quick resolutions to problems. The majority of retail sales associates seem bound and determined to make excuses for problems instead of correcting them quickly. Customers don't care about your policies, problems, or internal issues. They want their concern or problem fixed--fast and without hassle.
I know this sounds like common sense. However, if you visit your competition I will bet that many of them simply fail to execute. Which means you can stand out from them by making sure that you do.