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Melrose International

Customer Service and the Rising Economy

As the economy improves customer service becomes even more important for small businesses. Find out why!

Customer Service in retail for shop ownersCustomer Service in retail for shop ownersWhat separates a small gift shop from a big chain? Many things, from product selection to location, but the biggest difference that consumers cite is customer service. As consumer spending power recovers, it’s natural to assume that customer service will grow to be less important because shoppers have more expendable income. However, studies are showing the opposite to be true!

“The combination of lower [consumer] satisfaction and less spending…suggests that consumers are not only being cautious, they have less tolerance for poor service than [before the downturn],” explains The Motley Fool referencing an ACSI Index report.

The report continued to say that “Collectively, dissatisfied customers who reduce or postpone spending are always a threat to short-term economic growth.”

This sentiment is being echoed by other sources with specific implications for store owners. According to a recent article from UK based StartupDonut, “Not having enough staff could mean your customer service suffers, which will damage your sales. Maintaining good customer service is a key challenge during periods of growth.”

As a store owner, what can you do right now to improve your customer service?

~ Take a look at your staff! Make sure you have enough staff on your floor for the holiday season and that they are trained on your amazing product and the value your store brings to your shoppers. Watch as they interact with your customers and focus on constant improvement.
~ Take a look at yourself! It’s the busy season and chances are you’re stretched thin. But you can still set the example for your staff by working the floor and showing them how exemplary service is done. Not only will your staff respect you that much more, but also the customers will be impressed!
~ Take a look at the 2015! With the end of the holiday rush, your customer service is still just beginning. Be sure to provide the same great service to shoppers seeking to return merchandise, or just shopping your post-Christmas sales. Continue to improve your customer service even after the holiday rush. Give shoppers a reason to make your business a regular stop.

As the economy improves, small businesses are in a position to grow too. Part of that growth can come from offering exemplary customer service to your customers—something many big box stores cannot provide. Start by looking at your staff, then yourself and finally your plans for the upcoming year.

Is your great customer service helping to increase sales at your store? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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