How To Give Great Customer Service

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Do you love your customers? Of course, you’ll say you do. But what if I asked them. Would they say the same? Would they say that you see them as people and not simply as a way to beef up your profit margin?

Fancy Thanks

Companies that view each customer as more than just another financial transaction will always fare better than ones who don’t, especially in today’s hyper-competitive business world. I recently heard a short radio story about retailer JC Penney’s “G-R-E-A-T” customer appreciation program. Here’s an overview of what I can recall of the story:


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  1. Greet. Each JC Penney customer is to be quickly and warmly greeted by a sales associate as soon as she or he enters the store.

  2. Respect. Customers are to be treated with respect. Associates are to ask how they can make customers’s shopping experience more pleasant by helping them find what they need, and by being otherwise useful.

  3. Engage. Associates are to take time to engage customers in friendly ways, balancing a desire to reach out and be helpful with the need to give a customer space. Some customers like to chat while others like to be left alone, so body language and tone of voice are considered to determine an appropriate level of engagement for each customer.

  4. Assist. Proactive efforts are to be made to assist each customer. For example, rather than tell a customer to go to a particular section of the store to find what they are looking for, associates take the customer there. Efforts are made to look for ways to be helpful.

  5. Thanks. A personal expression of gratitude for the customer’s business is a must. This can take many forms. Examples include a hand shake, an especially friendly smile, a thank-you note, or an offer of a special hanger for an expensive garment.

While my core business values always include treating clients and IBN members with the kind of respect described here, the G-R-E-A-T acronym is a super reminder, don’t you think?

Question: How do you ensure that your customers enjoy the G-R-E-A-T customer service they deserve?

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