Recognizing Your Customer’s Need


So often it’s the little things that matter the most as stores struggle to stand out from the crowd. One positive edge recognized by many retailers is great service. One of the components of great service is recognizing your customer’s need and acting upon it.

Recently my wife and I were in Amerigo’s a local restaurant. They feature a cedar-plank Salmon that is incredible and my wife likes her salmon well done. When our meal arrived, the wait staff noticed it wasn’t well done and offered to exchange it. My wife resisted, saying it was OK and began eating around the edges. In just a few minutes, the manager appeared, apologized and took away the plank promising to do better if we’d give her a few minutes. When she returned, she had a brand new salmon filet and side dishes, cooked to my wife’s liking. She again apologized. That’s not all — when we ended our meal, she returned with a free desert and two cappuccinos. That’s what I mean about recognizing need and acting.

Too often your customers leave disappointed when all their concern needed was some attention and an associate who took the time to recognize the customer’s need. Recently I witnessed a very frustrated customer in a specialty retail store. The shopper didn’t have all the information she needed to make a purchase but the clerk was too preoccupied by her break schedule. Instead of staying with the customer the clerk left and the shopper left the store disappointed and the store lost a sale (and probably a customer).

Weigh these two stories in your own mind — which customer will return and try again? Certainly my wife and I will go to Amerigo’s again and again based on our experience. I doubt seriously if the shopper in the retail store will come back. Why should she?

It is your responsibility to train your people to react positively to customers. It starts with you and how you respond and your training will never end — but I guarantee you it will be worth it.

Encourage your people to ask questions, to listen and observe. Teach them to be open to customer comments and when there’s a mistake, teach them to handle it to the customer’s satisfaction. A simple, “sorry about that” doesn’t make a shopper feel welcome to return. Listening, observing and responding to the customer’s need will. Sure it takes time, but it’s time well spent when your associate’s attitude and actions creates raving evangelists about your store.


One Response to “Recognizing Your Customer’s Need”

  1. Miato says:

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