Bring service back

“Are you being served?” was a sitcom in the ‘70’s. 

 

Set in the men’s department in Grace Brothers (the Sydney version of Myer).  The entire premise was like a Carry On film, loaded with double entendres and innuendo.  Their customer catch cry was: “Are you being served?”  Okay, of course there are a couple of ways to take this offer (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), but it also speaks to a time when retail was all about service.

While many of you reading this will have absolutely no cultural reference for the sitcom (look it up on YouTube), there is nothing old fashioned about the art of service.

When I ask people to think of an example of good service, they invariably cite the door greeter at Officeworks.   Now, I love Officeworks.  But let’s not mistake a welcoming greeting with what service really is. A greeting may be the start of it, but it’s not the entire story.

Service is when we cater to the anticipated needs of a customer in a way that makes them comfortable and the experience enjoyable.

 

Here’s what it isn’t:

Taking an order (even with a smile)

Pointing to where a customer can find an item in store or online

Telling a customer that the product they want is out of stock….with no offer to help them find which other store might have it or help them find an alternative in store

Demonstrating their product knowledge with little or no reference to the customer who may be asking themselves: “who is he talking to?”….

 

Hopefully, you get the picture.

 

 

Here are some real life examples of service I’ve experienced:

ONE:

Having furniture delivered with missing pieces, but the delivery man handing me a bag with scented candle and fragrance sticks inside along with a hand written card from the store manager apologising for the inconvenience and confirmation of the remaining item being delivered next week

 

TWO:

Ordering online for in store collection to find that the store manager had prepared a couple of other items that would compliment the jacket I’d ordered, ready to show me

 

THREE:

Being asked about perfume after a skin care and make up purchase, and having suggestions that were thoughtfully chosen for me to try and samples to take home

 

FOUR:

Being welcomed by name into a store I frequent regularly and asked something about me that showed me they were listening to more than just what related to them or the store….

 

Hopefully, you get the idea here too?!

 

When a product or service “expert” lets us know that they’re more interested in an ongoing relationship than a transaction, it’s the start of service.

That’s why I love selling so much.  In a time when we’re all so busy with our own “stuff”, selling is one opportunity to stop and truly “be there” to help another person with something we do or have that we believe in. 

 

It’s the best feeling in the world when we get it right

 

 

View our other posts

Consistent AND Effective

Sales teams must get into action now.    Yesterday in fact.  Waiting for the mythical “return to normal” has well and truly been debunked with further lockdowns, physical restrictions and extended travel restrictions across Australia. But it’s different now.  It...

Are You Listening?

I keep hearing 80’s band Pseudo Echo playing in my head…   ”I say, you say, weren’t you listening?  Now it’s too late, you’re not listening…”Ahh, such wisdom lads….:)   But let me return to the present day!  Once another person feels like they’re not being...

Recurring Theme

It’s fair to say that I speak with dozens of people directly and indirectly each week.   Most of these are salespeople, sales leaders, business owners and C-Level decision makers.  What concerns me is that in conversation after conversation, organisation after...

STOP IT

Everyone knows how to have a conversation, right?    Everyone knows how to create powerful, instant connection with another, right?  Everyone knows how to adjust their behaviour in order to make someone else comfortable, right?  Everyone understands the power of...

Network strength will be the key

Build your network before you need it   This has never been more relevant than it is right now. With more people facing redundancies, the market shrinking for sales people, much success for securing new work and getting in the door will come down to the strength...

Get Cut Through in a Recession

Lockdown restrictions are easing.   People are starting to return to the workplace in some states.  For many sales teams, they’re back on the road, able to see customers and prospects in person – albeit in compliance with distancing regulations. If sales teams...

Is Your Team Ready to Sell to Customers Who Don’t Want to Be Sold To?

Read the room people.    We’re back to work, but not like it was before.  It’s different.  We’re different.  We’ve all changed. COVID has taught us to think about how our actions impact on others.  So now that lockdown restrictions are starting to ease somewhat,...

Growth Happens on the Edge

Growth Happens on the Edge   I’m quoting one of the greats: my dear friend and colleague Natasha Facci here.  It’s true. Whether you’re an organization or an individual, we’re not stretched enough while everything is running smoothly.  After all, if it ain’t...

Go there first

This morning I heard a sobering statistic about the number of suicides in one weekend.  It stopped me in my tracks.  Literally took my breath away. If that stat was about COVID-19 deaths, we’d all know about it.    But it in a way, they are related.  While many...

No touching: the future of retail

Despite a spike in retail sales in March the month ended with most retailers closing their doors, stand down employees, and apply for the Jobkeeper allowance.   Unlike the supermarkets, sporting goods stores, home entertainment stores and those catering to the...