Customer service is an integral part of an effective retail sales strategy. In fact, good customer service directly contributes to customer loyalty, the reputation of the company and increased sales.

It also helps create a customer-centric corporate culture, which is essential for the long-term growth and success of any business. But what constitutes quality customer service?

In this article, we cover 9 characteristics of good customer service:

  1. Appropriate store’s welcome and appearance
  2. Provided assistance 
  3. Good listening and courtesy
  4. Effective complaints resolution
  5. Fair return policy
  6. Good Loyalty program
  7. Additional services offer
  8. Good after-sale service
  9. Quality staff training

1. Appropriate Store’s Welcome and Appearance

Customer service begins the moment the buyer sets foot into the store. It is therefore essential to make a good impression!

The first step to good customer service in retail is to have a visually appealing and dynamic store. Product presentation should be attractive, with carefully designed displays and appropriate lighting on the store’s flagship products. Maintaining a neat, clean and well-organized environment is essential for a good impression. For more information on this topic, Alice POS explains the importance of caring for your in-store displays.

To contribute to a good store presentation, consider including benches, armchairs, or counters as comfortable rest areas for customers. Suitable background music also contributes to a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.

Another tip: regularly change the decoration of your store to reflect the seasons or special events throughout the year!

The second step is, of course, having employees greet customers. It is crucial to warmly welcome buyers as soon as they enter the store to establish initial contact. The goal is to make customers feel welcome and also let them know that employees are available to assist them.

2. Provided Assistance

Every good customer service in retail includes careful assistance from employees. It’s important to provide proactive assistance by ensuring employees move around the store to meet customers’ needs.

But being available doesn’t stop there! During interactions with buyers, employees should provide detailed information about products, including their features, benefits, and prices. They should be capable and willing to help customers find specific products by guiding them to the appropriate aisles.

When employees are busy, customers should have access to resources and information to guide them to different sections of the store. This is where a user-friendly store layout, with clear signage, is necessary. This involves visible indications to facilitate product search, thereby enhancing the overall shopping experience.

3. Good listening and Courtesy

This characteristic may seem obvious, but many overlook the importance of courtesy and empathy during interactions with customers. Of course, the overall tone of voice is crucial, but it’s essential to go beyond mere kindness!

Good customer service in retail requires paying attention to customers’ non-verbal cues to anticipate their needs and offer additional assistance if necessary. It also involves actively listening to customers’ concerns and suggestions to continually improve the products offered.

The customer should feel that their opinion and inquiries are important to the employee and therefore to the company. They must feel valued! Don’t forget to thank customers for their visit and offer them an invitation to return for their future needs as they leave.

If you’re unsure about the vocabulary to use during customer interactions, Alice POS helps you find the right words to attract your clientele!

4. Effective Complaints Resolution

This aspect is often the most delicate to manage and the least enjoyable, but nonetheless remains necessary for any good customer service in retail. For a business, negative feedback always has more impact than positive feedback: it is therefore important to resolve customer problems or complaints in a courteous and professional manner to ensure their satisfaction.

Complaints can be of various types: dissatisfaction with prices, lack of variety in inventory, lack of service, anything can be a subject of discord!

To be responsive and effectively address unhappy customers, we recommend assigning a person or even a team responsible for complaint management. Employees should be responsible for monitoring social media networks and the company’s website proactively, in addition to resolving complaints received directly by the company.

Good customer service in retail is quick and efficient: it is therefore essential not to keep customers waiting to avoid exacerbating the situation. Ensure you adopt reasonable opening hours and, in cases where you cannot respond immediately to buyers, indicate response times.

For more information, read further about complaints resolution.

5. Fair Return Policy

After complaints, let’s now talk about the return policy!

Customers have all sorts of reasons for making returns. To prevent the transaction from turning into a complaint, it is important to establish clear, precise and fair guidelines for returning items from your store.

Customers must be able to trust you! It is important for many to be able to try a product and return it when it is defective. Therefore, make sure not to establish a return policy that is too strict with unreasonable deadlines, in order to establish good relations with your customers.

A quick and efficient handling of returns or product exchanges, in accordance with the store’s return policy, is also a key step in good customer service in retail. If this aspect concerns you, Alice POS offers several key features to make your life easier during these types of transactions. It is important that your point of sale software is tailored to your needs, whether it’s for returns or any other important features.

6. Good Loyalty Program

When discussing comprehensive customer service, one cannot omit the loyalty program. Being a member of a company’s loyalty program means having access to financial savings, personalized experiences, exclusive rewards and benefits, or even early access. This is how buyers feel special!

The loyalty program offers several advantages to customers, which is why it is an integral part of good customer service in retail, but it also proves to be very advantageous for the company that uses it. It is an outstanding tool for understanding your clientele deeply and providing them with unparalleled service.

In addition to facilitating customer tracking, a good loyalty program can work wonders for strengthening your customer relationships and reputation in the market. It is already contributing to the success of several companies: don’t wait to implement one in your own business!

7. Additional Services Offer

Another valuable addition to good customer service is offering additional services to your clientele. Indeed, supplementary services can add significant value to your business and set you apart from the competition.

These services can be as simple as offering gift wrapping with purchases or go as far as home delivery. It’s up to you to decide what your business can afford to enhance the shopping experience and add your personalized touch!

Psst… additional services can also be an excellent opportunity for cross-selling for your business!

8. Good After-sale Service

To continue the expansion of quality customer service, one must not neglect the after-sale service. Here, the customer relationship doesn’t end when the buyer leaves the store!

Ensuring good after-sale service helps, among other things, to prevent customer dissatisfaction, protect the company’s reputation, reduce costs associated with returns and refunds, and prevent future revenue loss.

But how can you achieve this? Firstly, you need to be responsive: make sure to promptly respond to their questions and concerns. Adopt the same strategy as when resolving complaints, discussed earlier. Stay available!

Next, you need to be proactive. Through marketing emails, you can offer promotions, discounts and other exclusives to your customers to show them that you appreciate them and thank them for trusting you.

Finally, good after-sale service follows up on resolved issues and gather customer feedback to continually improve its services. Pay attention to reviews left on Google, your website and your social media platforms to gather data and establish reports on the successes and shortcomings of your business!

Remember: it’s with a good after-sale service that we build loyalty!

9. Quality Staff Training

All the points mentioned above are worthless without the involvement of your staff. It is therefore up to you to commit to regularly and adequately training your employees on the products, as well as on customer service techniques and best practices. These ensure quality service, but also consistent service, especially for multi-store operations.

Training offers several advantages, but all aim to improve customer interactions: the more experienced your employees are, the better their advice will be!

You now know the 9 points to focus on to make your retail customers as happy as possible. But ultimately, every good customer service remains personalized and unique to your brand: don’t hesitate to add your own personal and unique touch to it. There are several ways to promote a retail business!

Alice POS can help you optimize your customer service efforts. Request a demo today to discuss your options with us.

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