My blog has always been about the world of customer service through the consumer’s eyes (usually mine). Whether they have been reviews or pet peeves or “The Tip” of the week, it’s really been from one side of the fence. Well I’m peeking over that fence and putting a few of my questions to businesses on their customer service. This is the QUALITY CHECK.
For my “first out of the gate” entry, I asked Tall Tales Books, a children’s book store located on Fort Street in Victoria B.C., about their idea of customer service and what bugs them.
1) In one or two sentences, define good customer service according to Tall Tales Books.
When a customer leaves Tall Tales Books, we want them to feel satisfied with their experience, that we gave them the attention that they deserved, and that we had done everything in our power to help them. Our goal is to assist our customers in finding the books they are looking for, make suggestions and recommendations, answer questions, and resolve problems all with courtesy, respect, and kindness.
2) What do you do to stand out through customer service?
Whether the customer turns out to be a long-term repeat customer or is here for a single transaction, we try to build relationships with our customers. It doesn’t matter if the customer is spending $5 or if they are spending $100, it is important to us that each individual feels that we value their business and are interested in what their needs are. One of our strengths as an independent family owned and operated business is that we are able to develop relationships with our customers and their families and get to know their reading interests wherever possible. We know our business lives or dies by our customers’ satisfaction with our store.
3) From a retail perspective, what’s one of your customer service pet peeves?
Every sale is important to a business and they should treat it as such. Many retail stores in town, including many independently owned businesses, worry too much about the next person in the till lineup and not about making each customer’s experience a pleasant and positive one. When we buy something from you, smile, listen to us, and at least pretend that you care that we are standing in front of you. If we walk away feeling that we are valued customers, chances are that we will come back one day soon. We could even go so far as to say that every time an independent business is indifferent to their customers, it diminishes the value of all independent retailers in the area. Why bother going to a local independent store when you can get the same service from one of the large chains or big-box stores?
The UpSOLD! (courtesy of @TallTalesBooks)
I recently stopped in at Legends Comics on Johnson St. in search of an out-of-print Spider-Man hardcover collection. They didn’t have it in stock, but went to extra lengths to source out a copy for me. They checked with their suppliers, they looked it up on some used book websites for me, and Gareth (one of the owners) even offered to sell me his own private copy (I declined – I couldn’t do that to a fellow collector)! Even though in the end they were unable to help me with this particular book, they have now ensured that they will get 100% of my comic buying business from now on! Thank you Legends!
I recently had the opportunity to connect with Kate Nasser (@KateNasser on Twitter) who is a “people-skills coach” from the U.S. She’s helping those on the business side work with and connect with their customers for the benefit of the business and the customer experience. Who the hell wouldn’t want a bit of that?
I recommend checking out Kate’s blog as she has some really good tips and observations on the world of customer service.
Here’s a blog link she recently provided me in my comments section: Customer Service Loyalty – The Connection!