Through the standards of service, personnel can understand the list of rules for the way of interaction with the client in uncommon situations. Of course, in just one document it is impossible to reflect all the possible situations, but there are still some general rules of interaction with the customer.
Instructions cannot teach salespersons how to act if the client is in a bad mood, but greeting of a client is necessary. Salespersons’ certain actions should be in a logical system. The main task is to introduce some quality standards that determine the order and the flow of personnel actions.
Service standards - mission and components
In an ideal world, the service standards of the company must directly reflect the overall corporate strategy. If the current quality standards of the service have special characteristics that help you stand out against competitors, it can be a main advantage. These days, the likeness of offered goods or services is forcing entrepreneurs to use every opportunity to distinguish themselves, and impeccable service is such an opportunity.
When developing service standards, it is important to take into account all stages of interaction with the client. The company needs to include in the list of standards all what is relevant to the procedure of interacting with a customer - from greeting at the entrance to closing of transaction and delivery of products. Furthermore, we will look at different components of customary service standards.
For the modern business, telephone communications are of the great importance. Today, many customers prefer a personal visit to a conversation on the phone. However, many business partners or clients may call you. What they hear in the handset affects their impression of the service, and it also reflects the style of work of your company. The degree of loyalty of your customers depends on the way your employees start a telephone conversation, receive information and handle all types of requests. These little things, if not practiced correctly, can entirely ruin the reputation of the company and reduce sales to a minimum.
Personnel’s appearance as part of the overall standards of service
The appearance of your employees is also the important aspect of effective communication with the client. You should hold your employees to a unified quality standard concerning their appearance. These requirements of corporate service standards must include not only clothing, but also other aspects of appearance. For example, bright makeup, skimpy outfits and vulgar perfume are clearly unacceptable.
Behavior of sales consultants
The manner and behavior of personnel interacting with the customer directly affects a consumer’s attitude towards the provided service quality and its standards. It may seem that there is nothing unusual and that the salesperson knows how to behave in order to increase sales. However, it is not that simple. For example, if your standards do not forbid sales personnel to conduct personal conversations during working hours, they are unlikely to be busy with sales. What is not forbidden is possible. Corporate standards quality in this category may involve a variety of aspects and define a variety of actions within the service, such as methods of interaction with the client and ban on loud conversations, prohibit the chatting with other salespersons in front of the clients, etc. It is important to understand that what your customer hears or sees on the trading floor will create the impression of your business as a whole.
Direct Sales and the applicable standards of service quality
Sales procedure involves several successive stages of interaction with the customer. The traditional scheme of cooperation is as follows:
- Initiation of the primary contact and further communication;
- Definition of consumer motivations and needs;
- Presentation of the product and drawing customers to the transaction;
- Work with objections and reasoning benefits;
- Closing of a transaction - the sale.
In order to ensure effective sales procedures, service standards and its quality should contain specific examples of behavior or conversation in a variety of situations so that you have flawless service standards for each employee and they know how to act at every stage of interaction with the client.
For illustrative examples, you can develop a separate handbook, which will be an annexe to the implemented corporate service standards. This can be a special file providing core info on the advantages of your products, as well as options for the answers to typical objections.
If service standards contain rules and quality parameters governing the sales process, it’s the right approach. But if there is an additional document which can be used as an education tool, it’s even better. It is important that each element of corporate standards has been explained with practical examples - this will facilitate the proper understanding of such standards by your staff.
Sales personnel’s behavior in case of failure of the transaction
The current practice commands that a customer, having seen the product for the first time, isn’t always ready to buy it instantaneously. However, this does not mean that he will not come back to make a purchase tomorrow. It is therefore important to standardize the behavior of the sales personnel when the customer leaves the store without buying. Whether the customer will return to you again or not depends on the client’s mood when he leaves. In any case, it is essential to try to establish customer feedback so you will be able to inform the customers on discounts, new products, etc. For example, it is possible to conduct a survey or questionnaire and ask customers to leave their contact details.
It is worth noting that everything relating to staff behavior at the time of interaction with the client is absolutely vital. The behavior of employees during sales and other communication phases should be clearly regulated and standardized.
In today’s business environment the merchandise returns procedure is strictly regulated by legislation of the respective country. However, if you want to have a positive reputation and high level of confidence on the part of the consumer, the procedure of merchandise returns should also be standardized and have more than just the fulfillment of the legislative standards. In order to avoid conflicts and outrages, and to deliver quality service, your staff should undoubtedly be acquainted with the sequence of actions required to follow in case of a merchandise return. Angry and unsatisfied customers bring negative publicity for your business.
Summary on all the Service Quality Standards above
Customer service quality makes the business to flourish or to fail. To be able to develop and implement quality service approach you need to know all the specifics and key elements. The solution to all the above is the development and implementation of corporate standards of service. And the most efficient approach to it is Atton Institute specialized courses which we offer for all types of companies and various levels within a company – employees as well as management.