By Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber
As a training company, we are always on the lookout for the good and bad in our industry in an attempt to make things better and consequently, do more business.
There are times my wife will admit that she does not really enjoy going shopping with me as I tend to critique the businesses we shop in as to their level of customer service or their use of technology. I will agree that sometimes she is right.
I have shopped in a few of the Macy’s stores in the New York area and have never been terribly impressed with the sales staff or how the merchandise displays were fixed up after the customers got finished browsing and left everything in disarray.
This all changed after I visited the Macy’s in NYC. While I cannot specifically say why, this was a totally different store and a very enjoyable shopping experience. Even my wife noticed.
First of all, there was an abundance of straightening up the merchandise displays after the customers were finished looking through them. Next, there seemed to be an awareness of the fact that customer service was important. While I was looking for a certain size of shirt, an employee came up to me and offered to go into the back room and see if there were any in stock. In a department store?
While my wife was shopping for shoes (what else?) the salesperson, with an iPad type of device contacted the stock room to bring out her size. When notified that her size was not in stock he replied, “Let me go and take a look to be sure. Is there anything else you might be interested in while I am back there?” Not only a terrific use of mobile technology, but a great attitude to make a sale. Of course, there was a shoe purchase.
I have shopped in other Macy’s stores, but never experienced this level of customer service. Needless to say, we made a nice donation in purchases.
I now look back to our jobber stores and our vision of customer service. Our staff was trained that when a customer came in even for something simple like a fuse or bulb, not only did you ask, “How may I help you?” but state, “They are in aisle six on the left, about three quarters of the way down the aisle.” And then you were to take the initiative and walk with the customer over to the proper area of the store and assist them with the purchase.
Now was the time to ask the customer if they needed anything else, while you were assisting the customer with their initial reason for coming into the store. The fact that you would come out from behind the counter was always noticed and genuinely appreciated. A very simple, yet effective method to build customer satisfaction.
We shop in a good number of jobber stores, sometimes independent, big box or chain locations many times just to see what level of customer service is present and how or where improvements can be made.
While still perplexed as to the reason the NYC Macy’s was so customer-friendly as opposed to some of their other locations, both my wife and myself have agreed that we will go back and shop there again.
Somehow, this is what customer service is all about making the customer a repeat customer!
If you are interested in having a mystery shopper evaluation of your business, contact us directly, [email protected] or (914) 447-3097.
Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber operate Auto Biz Solutions, which provides training, marketing, management and business consulting services to both the automotive jobber and independent repair shop.