Don’t ask permission


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I have a question: Is your customer’s experience better when someone on your staff is involved in their experience than when you’re not?

Of course it is. You and your team have the knowledge, experience, and information that benefit your customer. You can help them find the right products(s) that meet their needs and wants.

If they’re in a hurry, you can get them out the door faster. If they’re not, you make their shopping experience much more enjoyable.

So if we add value to the customer’s experience, why do we ask permission? Shouldn’t we just do it?

We ask for permission more often than we know.

“How may help you?” That’s asking permission.

“What can I help you find?” That’s adding value.

“Can I answer any questions?” That’s asking permission.

“That’s a very popular widget.” That’s adding value.

“Would you like help carrying your purchase out?” That’s asking permission.

“Let me get someone to carry your purchase to your car.” That’s adding value.

“Would like to see the matching wallet?” That’s asking permission.

“Here’s the wallet that goes with that bag.” That’s adding value.

That’s why we don’t ask for permission.

Even if a customer says “no” to our offer, we’ve at least demonstrated that we add value to his/her experience. That’s something many of our competitors never do.

The same holds true for exceeding your customer’s expectations. Don’t ask for permission.

“Can I get you a bottle of water?” That’s asking permission.

“Here’s a drink for you to enjoy while shopping.” That’s exceeding the customer’s expectations.

“I can call the other store to see if they have them in stock.” That’s asking permission.

“I’ll call the other store to see if they have them in stock.” That’s exceeding your customer’s expectations.

“I can call you a few week’s before your wife’s birthday.” That’s asking permission.

“Hello, Mr. Jones. I’m calling to see if I can help you pick out a couple of gifts for your wife’s birthday.” That’s exceeding a customer’s expectations.

Even if your customer declines your offer, you have still demonstrated your point of differentiation and your desire to WOW them. That’s what makes you special.

So let me ask, are you asking for permission to deliver an extraordinary customer experience?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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