A wee bit more at the grocery store

One of my regular livestream viewers recently shared this story with me: In the midst of this pandemic, when store shelves are still not fully stocked yet, she had been looking all over for a particular household item and could not find it, even after going to several of her local area stores. Keep in mind that this product is especially important to her. She finally found it at the last store she visited and it made her gleeful. She filled up her basket with several packages of the product and a few other groceries and heads to the checkout line. She expressed her relief to the cashier and explained how she couldn’t find her product anywhere else. The cashier then offered to take her name and number to call her when another shipment comes in. Let that sink in for just a moment…

Now, here’s the lesson…

#1: Make sure your team members are trained to listen. Being a good listener is excellent customer service skill because people like being heard. Sometimes, it’s enough for a customer to be able to vent without interruption. Oftentimes, you’ll find that letting them get it off their chest, good or bad, will quickly de-escalate a situation, after which they can hear what you might suggest to resolve their issue.

#2:  Offer a beneficial solution to the problem. Listening is a great first step but teach your team to go a step beyond. Brainstorm every potential problem you can and come up with a plethora of possible solutions you can equip your team with. Having a solution ready will help cut down on requests to speak with a supervisor/manager, senior associate, etc. and prevent a lot of headaches. The worst thing you can do is show nonchalance towards a customer, especially when (s)he is looking for resolution.

#3:  Remember that simple gestures can have great impact. At the end of the day, a random act of kindness goes a long way. Sometimes, it can be as simple as lending an ear. Other times, it’s as easy as a word of encouragement such as, “I hear you and I will do everything within my power to resolve this issue for you.” Show your team how to be kind and thoughtful… to go the extra mile … I promise there’s never a traffic jam on it!

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