The Basics of Customer Service – Part II

by Peggy Elliott, Product & Training Manager

Training Your Staff – and Your Customers

Training your staff may sound like common sense, but there are many facets of training that sometimes are never even considered. Typically, employees are trained to service customers by asking the basic questions (May I help you find something? Did you find everything you were looking for?) then directing them to the right area of the store before ringing up the sale and packaging their item.

A well-trained employee can make the difference between the customer choosing your heat printing business or the competition’s. Here are some additional items to consider when training your staff.

1. Make sure your employees are knowledgeable about your products. They better they know the products, the better they can assist the customer, answer questions, upsell, cross-sell and trouble shoot. The customer can’t be expected to know which heat transfer material should be used on their order of nylon jackets – guide them in the right direction. This paves the way to a pleasant shopping experience for your customer and keeps them coming back for more.

2. Employees should maintain an upbeat positive attitude and provide courteous, prompt service. This is a given, but what about that phrase “Go the extra mile”? It’s an oldie, but a goodie.

3. Train your staff to always use a pleasant unique greeting and thank the customer for their business by using their name. Follow them to the door and hold it open as they leave. Offer them assistance with loading their heat press into their car.

4. Store policies – you have to have them, but make sure they don’t get in the way of maintaining good customer relationships. If a customer wants to return something after the return policy has expired, how would you expect your staff to handle this type of situation? Remember every situation is unique and policies are meant to be a guideline to have some control over your business, but not at the expense of losing a customer.

5. Train your customers? Yes. It’s your job as a business owner to be up-front with your customers. Let them know how you operate. What are your policies for returns on custom orders? What information do you need for team uniform orders? Do you require a deposit? Do you have extra charges for personalization? What qualifies as a special order? How fast do you deliver? Knowing keeps the customer informed, so they can get you’re the information you need to process their order efficiently. It’s a win-win.

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