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

Sales Teams Need Strong Leaders

In workplaces, schools, businesses, politics, communities we look to leaders for strength, truth, hope and a clear path forward.    This couldn’t be more important for businesses everywhere than it is right now.  The right leadership will rally teams together in...

Getting Back Up

How many times can a person be struck down before they just can’t bring themselves to get back up?  We each have a breaking point.    There are superhumans who have a well of inner resourcefulness they draw upon that keeps them internally strong when all about...

Truth

  We know when we hear it.  We sure know when we don’t.  Conveying it without brutality however, is a skill worth cultivating. It’s not acceptable to simply vomit truth bombs on others without any regard for that person’s feelings, experiences or context, and...

Courage

Have you ever woken up at 2am in a sweat?  Filled with anxiety and pacing the floor?  Have you walked around in your pjs in the wee small hours, looking into the fridge, not really knowing why, but hoping the answer will jump out yet at the same time, knowing it...

Have the conversation

The other day I had the privilege of witnessing a sales leader sharing a story with newer sales leaders about a difficult conversation he had early on in his career.    He was 3 weeks into the leaders role and the person he needed to “have the conversation” with...

Belief: what to do when your team doesn’t have it

You may already know that I work with a number of sales teams across a range of industries and regions.  From time to time I come across teams that don’t believe in either their product/service or that their target is possible to achieve.  It might be understandable. ...

When Fatigue Sets In

The great thing about 2020 is that it’s over.  Yes there are the echoes of lockdowns (sometimes actual ones), yes there are still people driving in their own cars wearing masks and yes there are still news reports of COVID lurking in waste water threatening to jump...

What the world needs now, is Trust, sweet Trust

The word “sales” can bring about associations with anything but trust.    For many of us, we’re swift to separate out the activities of selling and consulting, of providing service and sales, of connection and sales.  And here lies the opportunity for B2B sales...

Communicate with Impact

Like listening, we think that just because we open our mouths and words fall out that we know how to communicate.    We know how to get our message across.  As a facilitator, take it from me – I’m not seeing it.  Being able to speak so someone actually hears and...

Energy flows where intention goes

I’m not one for denying reality.    When it comes to a healthy emotional and mental outlook, accepting reality is a key component.  And as I write this, Victorian small business, in particular, has been assaulted with another lockdown on a weekend that many in...