A Customer Service and Empowerment Solution to Replicate
Unfortunately, during a retail experience or customer service exchange, you may have heard some, or all, of these statements before:
- I'm sorry, we don't have that.
- We can't do that.
- It's not our policy.
In other words, NO! More than likely, if you received this response and you couldn't resolve the situation or locate what you were searching for on your own, you probably left that shopping experience unfulfilled. You may have found another retailer to shop with that was customer-oriented — in a word, helpful.
Customer service-focused companies pay attention to the needs of their customers. Such companies are amazing. They empower their employees to avoid such negative phrases. They hire the right people, train them properly, and motivate and praise them when they come up with solutions to their customers’ needs and problems. In other words, they empower their employees to come up with solutions where they can say, "Yes!"
Ace Hardware is a perfect example of this. (The company is the role model for my upcoming book, "Amaze Every Customer Every Time.") One of the tactics many Ace stores have adopted is a concept called One to Say Yes and Two to Say No. The concept is simple: At Ace, a single associate can't just say "No" without considering all options. Furthermore, it takes two people to say "No" to the customer. In other words, relaying a "No" requires the approval of a manager.
Here's an example of this concept in action: a shopper wanted a Toro lawnmower that Ace didn't stock. While the store carried Toro lawnmowers, it didn't carry the specific model the consumer wanted. It would have been easy for the store associate to tell the shopper that the store didn't carry that model, sending him down the street to a competitor. However, that's not what happened.