Great Customer Service

Servicing your customers is ALWAYS the most important thing you will do on any given day. Without customers we have no business. No customer should ever walk into your produce area and find an empty department where there is no sales staff on the floor. If you have periods in the day (even very short ones) where there is no produce staff on the floor, it is nearly impossible to expect that you will maximize the potential of your department. The organic customer tends to be especially well-educated and hungry for information.

Because produce is so operations oriented it is easy to become very task focused when out on the sales floor. It is important, however, to shift this focus to selling. Whenever a customer enters the department there is always the opportunity to help them buy more food than they originally intended.

An example of how you can approach sales in produce may go something like this: a shopper is standing in front of the Fuji apple display. You notice that they do not yet have their plastic bag for the item. You walk over, tear off a bag and open it for them while they select their apples. You may want to mention that Fuji’s are your favorite apple and that this batch is the best you have tried all season. Cut a sample and offer the shopper a taste. Personal contact and trust are vital to good salesmanship and customer service.

10 Widely Accepted Rules Of Excellent Customer Service:

1) You are in business to service customer needs and you can only do that if you know what it is your customer’s want. When you truly listen to your customers, they let you know what they want and how you can provide good service. If they ask a question and you don’t know the answer, tell them that you will find out and provide the information on their next visit.

2) Be a good listener.Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language and most importantly, how they feel. Beware of making assumptions or thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. Do you know what three things are most important to your customers?

3) Identify and anticipate needs. Customers don't buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems. Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your customers, the better you become at anticipating their needs. Communicate regularly so that you are aware of problems or upcoming needs.

4) Help customers understand your systems. Your organization may have the world's best systems for getting things done, but if customers don't understand them, they can get confused or impatient. Take time to explain how your systems work and how they simplify transactions.

5) Make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Learn and use their name and find ways to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity. It creates good feeling and trust. Don’t forget to thank them for coming in.

6) Appreciate the power of "Yes". Always look for ways to help your customers. When they have a request (as long as it is reasonable) tell them that you can do it. Figure out how afterwards. Look for ways to make doing business with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do.

7) Know how to apologize. When something goes wrong, apologize. It's easy and customers like it. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints. As much as we dislike it, this provides us with an opportunity to improve. Even if customers are having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable.

8) Give more than expected. Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition. Consider what can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere and what you can give your customers that is totally unexpected.

9) Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve.

10) Treat employees well. Employees are your internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your employees with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for customers. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating customers and employees well is equally important.