customer service RSS

cellphone, customer, customer service, events, retail, sales, sales person, selling, southernwomensshow, trade shows, -

With limited amounts of time to spend all day reading blogs on the Internet, every now and then I come across one that is “worth the read,” especially if it offers great advice if you are in any kind of sales. As a former exhibitor at the SOUTHERN WOMEN’S SHOWS ORLANDO for the past 2 years, I occasionally receive a copy of a blog written by the SOUTHERN SHOWS director, David J, Zimmerman, who...

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art shows, artist kimberly sumerel, craft shows, customer service, displays, marketing, painting, retail, sales, selling, -

At a recent art show I was in, I was asked by a fellow artist and business owner if there was anything they could do to improve sales when it came to presenting and selling their products at outdoor shows and events, and would I be willing to offer my advice? I wanted to say, “How long do you have, because answering that question was going to take a few hours?!” However, after offering my friend a few helpful tips on what I thought needed addressing when it came to the overall presentation of one’s store, I began to look around and it was as clear as day, why some businesses were selling and some were not….it was their “PEOPLE SKILLS!” Sure, they had great products, great prices and a “killer” display, but that wasn’t all! They were smiling and you could tell they genuinely not only loved what they were doing, they valued the customer and welcomed them into their store like they were family! They talked, listened and engaged in conversation with their customers. They talked about their work and shared their passion about their products with everyone.They were not sitting and texting on a cell phone, or chatting with friends who stopped by to monopolize their time and crowd their store, leaving no room for customers to shop, but were acknowledging each and every customer who came into their store whether they bought anything or not.   

So many beautiful products for sale, so many talented individuals. They, like myself had worked long hours, sacrificed their time, and spent a lot of money to bring a plethora of artisan created products to the public for sale. But, what I mostly observed of those who seemed to be having much success was, they knew what it took to serve the customer and that was GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE…. WITH A SMILE! I think often sales people do not realize they are not smiling. Yes, we are tired and yes we sometimes have to set up in the rain and drive long hours to some of these events, eat fast food and take pills because our back and feet are killing us, but that does not excuse us from giving 100% customer service with a “SMILE!” 

Note: You may have the best product money can buy, and if you are in sales of any kind and have no idea how to smile, my suggestion is invests in a mirror! You will be amazed at how far a smile will go when it comes to being successful in sales.

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cell phone, customer service, home depot, retail, retailer, sales -

I SIMPLY ADORE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE and today HOME DEPOT and their manager proved to me the reason they are the perfect example for GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE! 

When I am not painting on canvas, selling my art at art shows, working on my website, marketing and a million other things I do as a business owner, I am outside enjoying the Florida sunshine! On this particular day, I needed a few more of those lovely variegated ginger plants to put outside of my house to put the finishing touches on some landscape I was doing. You know us artist, we still want to “tweak” our creative projects by adding one last thing, because there is something in us that makes us feel things are not complete unless they are “perfect!” So, off to Home Depot I went. 

One nice thing about places like Home Depot, you don’t have to dress! Well, of course you can’t go in your birthday suit, though it has been rather hot in Florida and a quick dip in one of the bird bath’s would have been nice….(oh, what was I thinking……..must have been the heat! 

As I hurried to check out, I grabbed the 5 pretties I had come for and quickly paid for them. I loaded them up in the car, hurried toward home and suddenly realized I had left my cell phone on the check out counter. And God forbid anyone steal that phone, because they would be privy to some very hot and sexy outdoor landscape pictures I had just taken of my home a few hours prior, not to mention a plethora of some really racy pics of prancing deer in my neighborhood! I was beside myself! I quickly turned the car back toward the store and made a mad dash back to the nearest parking space closest to the front door, which was right in the middle of the entrance to the store. Hey, it was was an EMERGENCY! 

I ran into the store looking for my phone, asking why it was not there, where could it have gone and why had the check out person who had last seen my phone, gone home already when it was still early in the day? I wanted to scream. I was so agitated. I wanted to blame someone for my loss. I was near tears! But, who, where, what, why, how? Aha… CSI skills began to kick in. Someone get the manager. Call loss prevention and rewind those security tapes that recorded everything in the store. “Yes, I thought, Do that. Review those security tapes and the culprit will be found!”

As I approached the customer service desk, phones were ringing off the hook, customers were bombarding the sales people with questions, returns were being handled, people being paged, cash registers were ringing…….and there I was, ready to tell everyone “I AM WOMAN, HERE ME ROAR! Grrrr!” WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY CELL PHONE?

Behind the customer service desk were several women attending to the needs of customers, along with one manager who was on the phone. After taking 3 deep breaths to calm my nerves, I explained to the manager my dilemma. She politely listened, then apologized to me over and over again, and promised they would look into it. In the meantime, I ran over to my cell phone carrier store and had them put a temporary disconnect on the phone so “JOE SMOE” couldn’t call some foreign country and or download my racy deer pics to his cell phone.

There I was. The middle of the day. No way to communicate with the rest of the world. I felt like I was being sucked inside an unending hole to oblivion and all I could mutter was “ What a world, what a world.” Only the Wicked Witch of the West could know my pain. So, I went home for a while to sulk and feel sorry for myself. I was “phoneless” and it felt awful! I arrived home, opened the door and there it was………………..that “thing” that was my life line to world and the world’s connection to me. It was my cell phone! I let out a sigh of relief, picked up my sweet little communicator and kissed it as if I could feel the heartbeat of happiness in its little technological inanimate self! 

Oh, no!  What now? Home Depot was on the hunt for the culprit. I knew what I had to do. I knew it would not pleasant. I had to “eat crow!” But, maybe the crow would taste better if I bought a gift certificate to a local eatery and presented it to the manager and her team for their delivery of great customer service that was presented to me during my entire ordeal. 

With head held high, I walked back into the store with a few feathers hanging out of the side of my mouth and thanked them for all they had done in trying to get my phone back to me. They couldn’t accept the gift certificate, and told me that was their job and were happy to have served me! WOW! What a group! If only every store large or small would treat all their customers the way Home Depot treated me today………………sales would never be down and everyone (customer and merchant) would come out a winner. Maybe the longevity to a company is not just having a great product but also GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE! If in doubt, ask Home Depot. They have been in business for a very long time!

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Business, consumer, customer service, retail, sales -

If you are a business owner, in sales, retail or customer service, the most important thing to remember is the consumer is your fan, your critic, friend and sometimes a real pain the “yang yang!” But do businesses and their owners really care? You bet they do!

Prior to technological advances such as the Internet, company reviews, customer ratings, product satisfaction, etc., for a business were...

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