As I pushed open the door to enter a sports equipment shed type store in America I anticipated the good service, the good customer service I was about to receive. I’m a fan of american service. The store was just like any other big shed style store we have in the western world including the UK. But here is the difference: “are you looking for anything in particular?” questioned the young girl from about forty paces. She walked towards us and we answered ‘yes’ , the assistant started by asking us questions, the six steps to selling. The use or a good approach and questioning, my dear reader, IS the difference between a bad and a good service and possibly the difference between profit or loss. Think Comet. The store I’m in is a USA national, a highly profitable store with a great staff ethos.
If you’re in retail take a look at building a sales process with positive ethos. Lets talk.
Great American service – But are they losing it? are they slacking? YES: the Americans are not as upbeat as they have been in the boom years. Austere times are causing cut backs in staff, stock levels are obviously low, service is reduced, meals are smaller and any free service is reduced or removed. So yes, they are slacking a little but the survivors still provide good structured service and because of that they sell more product.
One other thing that has always been missing from the American way of service is empathy. Americans don’t have it, they are ruthless with a sales focus. The girl in the store I described above did have empathy for me but this is thin on the ground in America, and always has been. The Brits are also very poor on empathy for different reasons, they have no sales structure anyway in most cases. I say this: build a great structured sales process and include staff and integrate customer empathy; you will have a profitable business even in fiscal cliff days.