by Bob Negen, Retail Expert
Tip #20 - Ten Telephone Tips to give great customer service on the phone:
1. Focus on the phone call you are about to take. Make a conscious mental shift from your last customer, task, or conversation. Don't answer the phone while you are still talking to someone else.
2. Take a deep breath, exhale and SMILE before you answer the phone. Your smile will come through in your voice even though your caller can't see you.
3. Put a mirror by the phone (if possible) to remind yourself to smile and sit or stand straight.
4. Always give your business name and your name when you answer. The caller wants to know they have reached the right place, and who they are talking to.
5. Speak slowly and articulate your words, especially your greeting. Make sure it doesn't sound like you're too rushed to talk.
6. Use proper English and avoid slang. You're not addressing your buddies, but your business contacts.
7. Be sure to say “Thank you” at the end of every call. There's always a reason to thank a customer for making the effort to contact your company.
8. The “Goodbye” is as important as the “Hello.” Make sure your caller has finished everything they want to say before you hang up. Wait for them to say goodbye and hang up before you do.
9. If you are leaving a message on anyone's voicemail, it's especially important that you say your name and the company name clearly. You may even want to spell it if there is any question.
10. When leaving a voicemail, leave your return phone number, even if you think they already have it. Make sure you say the number distinctly and SLOWLY. Remember, they are writing this number down, and it’s annoying to have to replay the message several times to get it.
Another good trick is to say your name, company name, and telephone number at BOTH the beginning and the very end of your message.
Information provided with permission by Whizbang! Training.
brought to you by Retailer Coach Bob Negen, from Whizbang! Retail Training
Retail Tip #101 - A Sweet Marketing Idea
The very best marketing for small business owners isn't fancy, expensive, or difficult. Here's a great idea that you can use LOTS of different ways. It comes to you from Scott Noble, owner of Sew Vac Ltd. in Long Beach, CA, and it's a wonderful reminder that our most valuable marketing asset resides on top of our shoulders, and not in our bank account. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SPEND A FORTUNE ON GREAT MARKETING TO BE CREATIVE. Here's a lightly edited version of Scott's email to us:
"Hi, Bob and Susan,
Here is a fun and simple promotion we've had a blast doing: There's a fruit stand right across the street that I drive by every day. Lately, when I stop at the light next to the fruit stand, I'm overwhelmed with the incredible aroma of fresh picked strawberries. Of course I had to pull in and buy a flat. I brought them back to the store, washed them, and put them on a table in the front of our store for our customers to enjoy. On the same table, we displayed a sewing machine, an embroidery model, and created a stitched sign with embroidered pictures of strawberries and the words "Free Berries". We've sold 10 Bernina sewing machines off this table in ten days! Is it the smell? Is it their sweetness? Who cares! We're going to try the same thing with cherries, now that they are coming into season."
For the price of some strawberries and a little creative thinking, Scott developed quite a sales promotion. It's fun, it's customer focused, and it's really working! So, for the rest of you out there, what are some creative ways that you can demonstrate your services and products without having to spend a fortune?
We use this advice here at RidgeCrest Herbals, and it sure does work well! If you find yourself in need of some samples of our products let us know! We want to help you be successful.
Retail Tip #108: You Sample, You Sell
from Retailer Coach Bob Negen
There are only three ways to grow your business, and one way is by getting new customers to do business with you. One of the best ways to entice new customers is to give hem a sample of your wares. YOU SAMPLE, YOU SELL. You see this technique all the time at grocery stores or the cosmetics counter, but it can work for nearly any business. As a matter of fact, I just saw a postcard from Victoria's Secret offering a free pair of panties. They're betting that people will like the sample panties so much that they'll become long term, profitable customers. Sampling also works extremely well for service oriented businesses - who wouldn't want a free stress-buster massage or a complimentary consultation with a financial planner?
Roberta Miller from the Bank of Lenawee in Adrian, Michigan, shares this very creative idea for sampling the outstanding customer service her bank offers: "I work for a community bank and part of my job is to encourage local merchants to consider my bank as a possibility instead of their current bank. So, on Saturday mornings, I bring 20 to 50 one dollars bills to our downtown stores and see if they need change. They are usually super busy and really appreciate not having to run out and get change themselves! I always give them the bills in one of our drive up envelopes so they see our name and logo at least once a week." Think about how you can give your hottest prospects a sample of your goods and services because if you sample, you'll sell.