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By Joel Albrizio, President, Adlife Marketing & Communications

What Is The Big Deal About Customer Service...Is This Important To Customers?

Retail supermarket customers love customer service. So why don't supermarket retailers everywhere just spoil their customers with customer service? Guess what, they do not not have the imagination, the time or the technology.

Many industry types might refer to these big boxes as the nameless, faceless, plastic retailers with very little identity and even less desire to change. Most every major retailer seems intent on the "Newly Branded Identity" within its new format.

Today People Are More Likely To Make Shopping Destination Decisions Based On Customer Service!

Setting the bar for outstanding customer service has never been more challenging. Today, there are more ways than ever for customers to reach you.

Here are three things you can do to impress and delight your customers:

Set Expectations Early....

Customers become easily frustrated when their questions or concerns remain unanswered or their problems take too long to resolve. After answering hundreds of thousands of customer support requests, we've discovered that a big source of customer frustration is silence, not the actual time it takes to answer a customer's question or resolve their problem.

How can you set expectations early? When a customer confronts us, we immediately respond to let the customer know we understand their concerns.

Some customers run into difficult problems that require more than a few minutes to resolve but this is what customer service is all about. Communicate with customers daily to let them know when you expect to resolve their problem. If you want to delight your customers, always look for ways to temporarily fix their problems so as not to inconvenience them, while you look for a more permanent solution.

"The Customer Service Agent MUST Own The Conversation" 

We have all observed that people become frustrated when they are passed from one customer service representative or manager to another. People assume that when this happens, they'll get mediocre customer service. In most cases, their assumption turns out to be true. 72 percent of customers blame their bad customer service experience on having to explain their problem to multiple people.

Always allow every customer service agent to help any customer. But this is not always practical. Sometimes, a problem cannot be resolved without help from a different level of associate. We believe that the initial customer service agentpoint-of-contact, whenever possible, should own the conversation with the customer until the customer is happy. 

"Resolve Problems Quickly & Effectively"

Customers are happiest when their questions or problems are resolved quickly. To deliver great customer service, set a goal to respond to all customer requests immediately. That goal lets you rise above most other companies who typically promise a response by whenever?

The most successful retail supermarkets do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.

In short I guess as retailers we have to cherish our customers and be on the floor to best understand their needs. Don't fall into the "Zombie Retailer Group" that sits starring at P&L's all day wondering why sales are flat instead of taking care of the customer who becomes those increases in retail food sales!