At a retail seminar I attended years ago, the facilitator asked the group of more than fifty retail owners and managers if they felt that their company offered particularly great customer service. Almost everyone raised their hand. He then asked how many of us received great customer service when shopping ourselves. Only a few raised our hands.
Why was there a disconnect between how we perceive our own customer service and our perceptions of customer service we receive elsewhere?
I started to look carefully at the customer service offered in my own store and noted both the exceptional service as well as the shortcomings. I compared it, to the good, the bad and the ugly I was witnessing in organizations (not just retail) elsewhere.
My staff’s perception of themselves, their jobs, and the customers that we served, changed and grew as we worked through the program. Staff turnover decreased markedly on implementing the training and the first year we had an increase in sales of 14% in spite of a faltering economy.
It is my conviction that we can change the culture of mediocre customer service. All staff members that interact with clients will benefit, even those already delivering excellent service.
- Barbara Ackerman
Founder and Lead Facilitator, The Art of Customer Service