Customer Service means being more than just a clerk

Posted by Steve Whittington on Mar 25, 2016 9:15:56 AM

Mediocrity Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.The idea of what is Customer Service means different things to different people. In order to create a consistent, outstanding customer experience we all need to take responsibility for our actions and involvement with the customer (so it is never not our job); always make it personal, and by that I mean it make your personal mission to be better in all aspects.

Here is an example: Recently I visited a book store that only sells children's books. The store was empty and I asked the clerk, "Do you know where I can find “This Moose belongs to me” (I was buying the book as birthday gift and I knew my daughter Harper loves this book so I thought…hey great gift.)The clerk walked over to the computer, typed a few keystrokes and said, "I don't think we have it, do you know who the author is?"

I could not recall…the clerk replied again “sorry I do not think we have it.” I thought to myself how many times has this happened? That someone working retail doesn’t care enough to try, they will not even leave their stool. I thanked the clerk for trying and indicated I would just look around. I found “This Moose belongs to me”--they had three copies. I bought a copy and mentally noted that I am going to try other stores first next time.

Walking out of the store I stopped in my tracks as an alarming question popped into my head. Does this happen at Flaman stores? I know it does, because I review inventory at all our locations and our staff do not know what is in our yards when I ask them about specific pieces (myself included, I am guilty of this).So I reflected: are we (at Flaman) making it our personal responsibility to know our inventory, what we have, it’s condition, options and colors? What would the customer experience be if all of us (not just the sales team) knew what we had (or a very good idea) and thus could answer most of our customers questions?

So let’s go back to the clerk; what went on at the book store?

It's possible that he thinks his job is to be a clerk, to keep people from stealing things, to type letters into a computer and to read the results out loud as he stands at the cash register. If that's the case, this store, like all stores staffed by clerks who are taught to be merely clerks, are doomed.

On the other hand, it's possible that his job is to take it personally, to be interested, to notice, to care, to add more value than a website can. Someone that takes it personally, that is the type of person I want to be on a team with and I think our customers want that too.

Topics: Customer Series, Customer Service, Clerk, teamwork, Blogs

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