Kantar Retail helps Retail organizations in the area of customer Service and other competencies across the world at varying degrees of detail depending upon requirements and market maturities. This is a topic that I have thought about many a time so I think the best way to share my thoughts on this is by narrating my own personal experiences related to this topic.
I was travelling and needed a multi country adaptor so I walked into a retail store. I was finding it difficult to locate the type of adaptor that I needed for my mobile phone charger and within a short span of time a young lady in the store uniform who might have sensed my distress walked up to me. She very politely asked what I was looking for and upon understanding my need took me to the shelf that normally stocks the multi country adaptor, unfortunately the type of adaptor I was looking for was not on display. The girl on her walkie talkie called up the stock room and asked the stock keeper to check the product which I required in the stock room. Upon receiving the confirmation from stock room she went to the stock room and got the product for me personally. I was extremely pleased having received a “PERFECT 9 CUSTOMER SERVICE” from Janet as it was her name that was proudly displayed on her uniform. This was a Wilkinson store in small town called Kettering in the Northampton shire county of U.K (Wilkinson is a Modern Retail Store chain in U.K)
You might be wondering what do you mean by “PERFECT 9 CUSTOMER SERVICE”? In our experience of having worked with Retailers and consumer goods companies across the world, Customer service is defined by 9 key criteria;
Directly reflected via. A store specific uniform that portrays the message of smartness in store, hierarchy & information on an individual (Name, Year of service. Dept. etc. )
Signifies the ethos of a company inbuilt into an employee mindset i.e. focus on ensuring no question unanswered, ensuring customer satisfaction at exit etc.
Focus on ensuring empathy is shown towards customer need and that the customer is given a service where he truly feels valued.
This incorporates the previous three points but is also the portrayal of a store image imbibing knowledge and aesthetics.
The desires to ensure the customer needs are met by trying to remove any barriers to purchase rather than using those barriers for excuses for not delivering the service.
The ability to proactively respond to customer needs by action or adaptation if the answer is not clear-cut.
Understanding the roles &responsibilities of other team members and awareness of how to leverage team strength towards meeting of customer requirements.
An old adage of “seeking to understand before being understood” holds very true here. The ability to really assess a customer need and then providing clear information defines this.
In my opinion “PERFECT 9 CUSTOMER SERVICE” should hopefully lead to a much better customer experience for Indian customers as the modern retail market in India further matures.