Separate Yourself from the Competition

Posted on: June 9th, 2017 by Rob Baumhover


Key Ingredient for a Competitive Edge

Customer service is the key ingredient in separating your business from all the competition in the market. With Big Box retailers focusing most of their attention on pricing, more and more customers seem to be asking, “Where is the HELP?”  Most DME’s in the retail industry understand the importance of helping and caring for their customers/patients. So let’s dissect a few key aspects of customer service that is sure to give our customers the shopping experience they have been asking for.

#1 Have the RIGHT Employees Interacting with the Customers

This is often a piece that we take for granted or don’t know we’re missing the boat on. Employees are the direct connection between your company’s values and expectations and what the customer’s actual experience turns out to be. If the right people are not representing your company, then there is a very good chance your values and expectations aren’t being depicted to the customer. This in turn, will cause the customer to feel unimportant and like their well-being does not matter to you. Eventually you will lose that customer’s business.

Where do you find a strong employee who is sure to let your company values shine? Well I have always been told treat everyone like you would want to be treated, look for this in a new hire. Start by looking from experience. Your new employee might be standing in front of you every day at work, at your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or retail store. We are all consumers ourselves and should be able to pinpoint a time when we received excellent service. Have you ever thought about approaching that waiter, waitress, or sales associate when they provided that outstanding service? Most of these folks bring the sales and service background that we are looking for.  Most are also looking for opportunities to grow professionally. By utilizing this methodology, I personally have found some of my best employees.

#2 Properly Train your Employees

There are many ways to effectively train a new employee to properly assist a customer. Here are just a few that have worked best in my experience.

The first is to spend some time talking with the new employee about your consumer base and your customer service expectations (i.e. you want them greeted within a certain amount of time after they enter the store). The clearer you are with your expectations, the better the chance each employee conveys themselves to each customer.

The second is point of sale (POS) training, though this might seem obvious, you would be surprised how many times a sale or even a customer is lost at the register. Take your time here if needed. Don’t hesitate to spend a good couple days running through the basic functions of a sale and a return, as every system is different. Once this is done, run them through different scenarios by doing live training with help available if needed. As a new employee, there is nothing more crushing than coming to work knowing you are not confident in what you’re supposed to be doing and as a customer, there is nothing more frustrating than being ignored or treated poorly.

In closing, if you make great customer service your bread and butter, your customers are sure to notice. There is no better means of marketing than having a happy customer tell a bunch of friends about your business. Some studies show consumers are even willing to spend more money when they receive a great experience. Moving forward, I invite you to stay in tune for my future blogs that will dig deeper into other areas that are sure to help your employees provide excellent customer service.

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