Customer Service: Special Considerations
We live in a time of strong competition for a portion of our customers’ hard-earned budget. In this economy, it’s even more essential to stop and imagine how it feels to be in your cellular phone store, on the other side of the counter.
As a wireless phone dealer, have you made every effort to make a visit to your store a pleasant, relaxed experience? Have you thought about the real, everyday needs of a cell phone customer who may have lots of responsibilities and pressures?
Cellular phone customers are people, first
Like everyone, your customers endure an endless variety of stressors every day. One of the most unsettling shopping experiences, especially once school is out, occurs when parents bring children into your store. Research from 2014 says that 90% of parents are more likely to have a cell phone than adults without children under 18 at home (78%). Clearly, parents make up a large percentage of your customer base. Caring for a child while trying to make in-store purchasing decisions can be a huge deterrent for parents, and can often force them to leave the store empty-handed. “Studies show that the longer shoppers remain in a store, the more money they are likely to spend.” Make no mistake – we love children, but there are some good ways to minimize the tension and anxiety that can interfere with a sale when there’s a cranky child involved.
▪Arrange a small children’s corner that is safe, quiet, and offers something for small children to do. For example, promotional “coloring” sheets and crayons, or puzzles can occupy children for a long time. If parents are confident that their children are safely busy nearby, they will be more willing to engage with associates, and can make thoughtful purchasing decisions.
▪Older kids love video games. Have a tablet or two available, with comfy seating.
▪ Always have small gifts like pens, magnets, markers and stickers for kids, keeping in mind the safety issues involved. Offer these items to the parents for the children, not directly to the children.
▪ In case of an unexpected toddler meltdown, a secret supply of packaged crackers in the back of the store can come in handy. Again, never give food or toys directly to a child, but offer it to the parent to give.
Phone shoppers, whether they’re parents or not, may be tired, wound up or simply thirsty. Always keep a pot of fresh hot coffee, tea and cold water available for your customers, as well as one or two comfortable chairs and a clean restroom.
Surveys, questionnaires, polls
So, how will you know if all this extra consideration is appreciated? Your cellular phone customers deserve the opportunity to comment on the service they’ve received in your store. Good or bad, you need to know about their experiences and how to improve them. Your sales associates can ask each customer to fill out a postcard with specific questions about their buying experience in your cellular phone store. If the card has postage, it can be taken away and dropped into a mailbox later, but most people are willing to take a few moments to check off boxes that describe their experience in your store. Simple questions, such as, From One to Five,
▪How helpful was your sales rep?
▪Did you enjoy your time in the store?
▪How long did it take to process your purchase?
▪Were your questions answered to your satisfaction?
▪Are you comfortable with your purchase?
▪Would you recommend us to a friend?
A survey like this is best obtained soon after the customer has completed a transaction, while they’re still in the store. If too much time passes, the information may seem less important, so try to make this your last little bit of business with your customer. Inviting their opinions can also shed light on the quality of your individual sales reps’ communications, and signal the need for corrective measures when a pattern of negative responses appear.
Speaking of opinions, you may want to place a Suggestion Box in your store, so customers can feel they’re are making a difference for you. A follow-up call within a few days can accomplish these same goals, but responses may not be as forthcoming as they will be in the store, on the spot.
If you can put yourself in your customers’ shoes and anticipate their needs for comfort, they will notice and appreciate your efforts. A bit of forethought and empathy can go a long way toward happy customers who will want to return again and again to your cellular phone store.
Author: Caroline Bloomfield
Content strategist: Sergey Izbash