While shopping at a department store recently, the moment I stepped in the door, I received a greeting and offer for assistance. I declined, knowing what I wanted, and went toward that direction in the store. On my way there, I was asked if I needed assistance 3 additional times by other employees in a short period. I knew what I wanted and just wanted to get in and get out. Each time, they’d stop me in the aisle, stand in front of me and ask. When I left the store, an employee stopped and said “Thanks for shopping with us! Have a great day!”
On another day, I was at a different store and did not know where to go for the item I needed. I was not greeted when I walked in nor were any employees available. When I finally found someone stocking shelves and asked, they didn’t stop what they were doing but rather pointed to another aisle and said, “It’s over there.” I didn’t end up finding my item and left the store. No one stopped me on my way out.
Is there anything as too much customer service?
In some cases, customers want their independence. They want to know that you are available but they want to be able to find what they need and go on their way. They may not want to be checked in on 4 times during a 10 minute shopping trip. But, how do you know?
How can you take care of your customer without getting in their way?
3 Tips For Taking Care Of Your Customer Without Getting In Their Way
Understand The Journey
When the customer journey is mapped out in front of you, you’re able to see what path your customer takes and walk in their shoes. What is done right? What is done wrong? An expert in customer journey mapping is Annette Franz of CX Journey–be sure to check her out and subscribe to her blog!
Give Customers Choices
Deciding what choices they’ll actually have comes from journey mapping, but giving your customer choices in the way of self service and obtaining assistance is necessary. We see this in the grocery store now: There are self service check outs, 15 items or less check outs and the regular lines for those that may have different personal needs when purchasing their items. Allowing your customer to choose what they need at that time enhances their experience. But, be wary of giving too many choices–that can also cause frustration and send the customer elsewhere. Find the perfect balance!
For your employees out on the floor assisting the customers, encourage them to adapt to your customers needs. If they see someone speeding through the store to a particular place, stopping them in the aisle to ask for help might not help the situation. While we cannot assume that the customer doesn’t need help, the employee simply acknowledging the customer and offering help if needed, even if from a distance, will give security to the customer knowing that help is there and allowing them to get on with their day.