I’m sitting in Starbucks in Dunfermline reflecting on my day of shopping so far, and thinking about all the things I want to get done later today. I picked up on one thing today that really restored my faith in customer service.
Last year at the same time I was really surprised how great the customer service was in the high street shops; everyone was happy and full of cheer.
The retail assistant in the Body Shop today took it to the next level, and it’s so small and subtle that most people probably won’t pick it up.
Normally when a shop assistant approaches you, he or she will ask “Can I help you?“. If you are like me, your immediate reaction is “No thanks, I’m just looking.” Blam! No sale today!!
Now what’s interesting about the assistant in Body Shop, who might actually be the Manager, is that he asked “Are you aware of what we have going on in the store today?“. Now, this is still a closed question except there is a huge difference, he just engaged in conversation with us. It wouldn’t have mattered what I said next, either “yes” or “no”, I bet he had a way to follow up. Blam! Sale!! This small change throws us, the consumer, off from our normal response and immediately the shop assistant is engaging with us. The likelihood of a sale has just been increased all because of the very small and subtle change in words.
This reminded me of what I read in E-Myth Revisited recently. Gerber highlighted that by just doing something as simple as changing a few words, you can increase your sales by a marked percentage. His example is almost identical, he advises shop assistants to ask “Have you been in the store before?“. If you reply with either “yes” or “no” the shop assistant will have a follow up ready for you, instantly engaging in conversation.
It’s great to see people doing things a little differently.
Oh, we popped back to the Body Shop on the way out and bought more stuff…!
Enjoy your day.
Buy the book: E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber.