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CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SALES FUNDAMENTALS nrf.com/foundation24 25
Customer Service CHAPTER 2
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Customer Service CHAPTER 2
The objectives in this unit are based on the skills standards for the National Retail Federation Customer Service and Sales Certification.
Students will be prepared to:
2.1 Understand Customer Service by:
l Defining quality customer service.
l Discussing the importance of quality customer service. 2.2 Learn About Products and Services by:
l Seeking out and participating in training opportunities to support products and services and to further develop customer service skills.
l Testing or sampling products and services to build recommendations for customers.
l Researching and reviewing relevant data on competitors products and/or services.
l Remaining current regarding products, services and industry standards. 2.3 Assess and Meet Customer Needs by:
l Greeting and engaging the customer in a personal and professional manner.
l Listening attentively and responding effectively to customers comments and questions.
l Assessing the customers needs while determining the customers knowledge of products or services to promote customer loyalty.
l Identifying the customers budget through active listening.
l Arranging service recovery and handling service failures
l Using customer feedback to improve customer satisfaction. 2.4 Educate the Customer by:
l Explaining levels of product or service value to customers in a way that is relevant to their needs.
l Recommending comprehensive solutions, products, services, and related items based on customer needs.
l Educating the customer about service policies and related resources (e.g., returns, warranties, guarantees, service plans, support plans, instruction).
l Knowing when to ask for help, support and advice.
Chapter 2 Answer Key The Answer Key for the Exercises and Quiz in Chapter 2 can be found on pages 276-287.
Customer service is not a skill. The ability to provide good customer service is a result of learning and applying a combination of skills that include planning, problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, professionalism, respect and more. These skills form the bedrock for successful careers in every industry.
This winning combination is part of what makes retail jobs so special; entry-level associates with a commitment to providing outstanding customer service will learn and practice invaluable skills that they will use throughout their lives.
It has been said that customer service is not a departmentits an attitude. Defining great customer service is simple; it occurs when you consistently give the customer more than they are expecting and deliver an experience theyll want
to share with others. Its what Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, co-authors of Raving Fans, call the raving fan concept. Unlike a customer who is merely satisfied with your service, a raving fan will become part of your sales force by telling friends, co-workers and family about your products and services.
The job of a salesperson can be challenging, but is very important. By continually learning about the products your company sell and honing your people skills, you will be able to increase your confidenceand your sales. Eventually, youll have raving fans who keep coming back and referring your business to others, rather than dissatisfied shoppers who go elsewhere, often without letting anyone at the store know why.
Customer Service What Is It And Why Is It Important?
2.1 Understand Customer Service l Define quality customer service
l Discuss the importance of quality customer service
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Customer Service CHAPTER 2
Tell students to keep these answers in mind as they move through the course.
EXERCISE 1 : Personal Experience
1. What are some examples of poor customer service you have encountered in the past, either as a customer or as an associate?
2. How could a customer service associate turn these examples into positive customer service experiences?
3. What are some examples of great customer service you have encountered in the past?
4. What did the associate do to make the experience so good?
Youll learn later on in this chapter module that dissatisfi ed customers are more likely to tell friends and family about their experience than satisfi ed customers. The bottom line is that bad news travels faster than good news. In todays digital age, news travels faster than ever before, so its
very important for businesses to train their employees on products as well as customer service skills. One bad customer experience posted on Facebook or Twitter could do a lot of damage to a stores reputation and might put sales associates at risk of losing their jobs.
Learning about products and services is a critical work function for all retail employees. This means taking responsibility for learning about products and participating
in available training, attending company-provided workshops or seminars, using products, reading product lables and studying materials provided by vendors.
2.2 Learn About Products And Services
l Examine how seeking out and participating in training opportunities helps associates
Support products and services
Further develop customer service skills
l Learn to build recommendations for customers by testing or sampling products and services
l Discuss researching and reviewing relevant data on competitors products and/or services
l Explain the importance of remaining current regarding products, services and industry standards
Since more than 60 percent of retail employees have direct contact with customers, employee training is extremely important. As a retail employee, you are responsible for helping satisfy customers needs and resolving their problems. Attending any training offered by your company will help ensure you are prepared to do so.
The simplest but most frequent request your customers will have is for help locating a product in the store. While a tour of the store will probably be part of any standard orientation, it wont be enough to make you an expert. Simply walking up and down the aisles of the store in your downtime is a great way to begin familiarizing yourself with all the items offered.
Company-Provided Product And Services Training
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Customer Service CHAPTER 2
If you are scheduled to work in a specifi c department and a customer asks for an item located elsewhere in the store, give them very specifi c directions on how to get to that department. If possible, walk with the customer and introduce them to the associate attending to that department.
Learning about the products your store sells is an important part of becoming a successful retail associate. Having product knowledge will give you the confi dence you need to engage customers and provide an exceptional sales experience. Being a knowledgeable associate is a key component of staying ahead of the competition.
By enthusiastically participating in all training programs, you indicate your readiness to learn new, valuable skills and your commitment to delivering outstanding customer service. In-depth knowledge of products, services and sales model prepares you to confi dently attend to your customers needs and desires. Your customer will remember you by the level of service you provide, so take that extra step to stay informed.
Learning About Products and Services
To satisfy customers needs, its important for you to equip yourself with comprehensive knowledge. This involves:
l Learning the product information
l Using the product or service
l Understanding any safety requirements
l Anticipating questions your customers might have and researching answers
l Keeping notes or checklists to help you (when needed)
Information can also be obtained from others in your organization. Be honest with your customers. If you dont know the answer, admit it, and then locate a manager or co-worker youre certain will have the answer. Customers will appreciate your honesty and know that they have come to the right store to get their questions answered.
Your manager or supervisor should work with you to ensure you are aware of and registered for all required training. Your attendance should be recorded so you receive appropriate acknowledgment for your participation. Training programs are documented in several ways:
l Test scores
l Records of completion
l Instructor or manager evaluations
l Course certifi cates
l Training records
Training time should be recorded on your attendance records. Always be sure to ask how information about any training program you participate in is documented and given to your management team.
You might be required to complete training assignments or evaluations during or after your scheduled course time. These might be in the form of on-the-job exercises, homework, research or participation in a role-playing activity. These assignments and evaluations help determine whether or not you have mastered the information provided during training or whether additional training is needed. Completing these assignments also allows you to practice newly learned skills and helps reinforce the concepts and informati