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Final Up Sell Opportunity

Saturday Service - Customer Service Insights Comments Off on Final Up Sell Opportunity

An often overlooked part of the sales process is the payment.   Recently, I made a purchase at an office supply store and just before quoting what I owed, the cashier asked if I would like to purchase any stamps.  I gave it a quick thought and said yes.  Let's take this back to the automotive world - when doing an oil change for a customer it is typical to performa a visual inspection and make recommendations for services based on this inspection.  In most cases, a customer who does not take any recommendations will not be provided with any further up sell.  This is a mistake - there is still an opportunity to provide this customer with a recommendation when they are being billed out.

The cashier has a great opportunity to review the invoice with the customer and upon requesting payment ask if they would like a specific item to compliment their oil change.  I believe this can be any item but the request has to be specific.  What I used to do before requesting payment from the customer I would say "Our fuel injection cleaner will help to improve your fuel economy between services for $3.99, can we add one to your vehicle?".  I have seen some shops do this but the request is usually "Would you like anything else?"  The key to this working is the request has to be specific.

The message here is simple, take the opportunity to provide a specific up sell to the customer prior to processing their transaction because there is a great opportunity to help them purchase something that they may have forgotten!

Unhappy Customer Presents an Opportunity for Great Service

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Like many of you reading this posting, my passion for automotive is a result of turning wrenches and providing great service.  Over the years, I have learned how to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one almost 100% of the time. When I first started out in automotive, an unhappy customer was an interaction I wanted no part of.  The reason, I am not a confrontational person and I found these types of interactions intimidating.  The solution, to educate myself by reading but also watching how others interacted with these types of situations.  The people who were very good with diffusing customer complaints always seemed to be very good at listening to the customer.

I once had a first time customer have an oil change performed and leave happily only to return later in the afternoon not very satisfied.  The customer found drops of oil on their driveway where they had parked that were not there previously.  I listened attentively and told the customer I will come out to their home personally to take a look and clean the oil.  In the meantime, I asked them to bring the car into the service bay so we could ensure the "run down" was wiped up and the oil and filter were snug - check.  A few hours later, I showed up at the customers house with a small bristle brush and a commercial grade oil cleaner we used in the shop to remove oil stains from the shop floor.  After determining the oil was from the oil change I went ahead and cleaned the oil stain from the driveway.  I took the opportunity to share with the customer the oil had been removed and in the future we would take the extra time to clean the "run down" on the vehicle prior to them leaving.  The customer smiled and said "I can't believe you came to my home to clean the oil!"

In this case, I simply listened to the customer and acknowledged what they said.  I later went to their home to verify it was in fact true and remedied the situation with a bit of elbow grease.  Even though these types of mishaps were rare, I welcomed them as an opportunity to reinforce to customers why we were the best at what we did.


Winning Customers With a Warm Greeting

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Not enough can be said about making a great first impression.  Today, I visited the local mall and decided to buy a pair of shoes from a well known franchise.  I entered the store and noted the 2 sales reps were too busy behind the counter to take note of my presence.  I browsed the aisles back and forth looking for a casual shoe.  I was having a hard time finding what I was looking for so I approached the counter and asked for some help.  The young woman found the shoe I was looking for and in the size I needed.  No need to try them on, I purchased them and was on my way.  This transaction took a total of 10 minutes from start to end.  I got what I wanted right?  Wrong.

I am not compelled to visit this location in the future or to recommend it to someone else.  The 2 people working the store floor needed to acknowledge my presence when I walked in by sincerely saying "Hi" and  making eye contact and smiling.  By simply not doing this, I have now associated this store with just another shoe store.  Have you ever filled out a customer survey?  One of the more frequent questions I come across is "Did the sales person greet you?"  The reason companies want to track this metric is because they are aware that making this connection initially with the customer is a great start to winning a customer over from the competitor.

When your customers enter your store or shop are your staff providing that instant warm greeting?  If not, you maybe losing customers to the competitor who gets this right.  It's as simple to do as looking the customer in the eye, smiling and then saying "Hi".  If you are too busy to serve the customer it's still important to make eye contact, smile and indicate with your hands how long it may take before you will be with them.

As simple as this is, consistent execution will create a good first impression.


Staples – Great Memory

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When printing large documents or multiple colour documents Staples Print & Copy Centre is this writer’s most convenient choice. A few clicks of the mouse and the documents are in cue to print. The neat thing about their service is you receive an email acknowledgement of your order, when it is being printed, when it is ready for pick up, and every once in a while a personal phone call to tell you it is ready for pick up.

The order was ready for pick up the following day. Upon approaching the customer service desk, Kathleen, greeted me with a smile and welcome greeting. This is where the experience gets unique. She immediately pulls out her file folder and begins to thumb through while I say “I have an order to pick up and I think it might be under my last name.” All the while Kathleen is listening to me and acknowledging my statement. “Found it” Kathleen says. Incredibly she had found the order without me ever having to say my last name or provide a reference number. “How did you do that?” I asked in amazement. “I remember you” replied Kathleen. In most cases it’s my good looks that make me memorable but in this case it was purely Kathleen’s ability to remember her customers even if they were not frequent. Based on this experience, Staples, and Kathleen have acquired a customer for life as well as a recommendation to others!

The lesson to other retailers and front line employees is your customers want to feel appreciated and when it’s done in a unique way it stands out. Simply checking the name on a customer’s credit card and referencing their name can create a wow experience. This was and continues to be one of the secrets to my success in business.

Article first published as Staples - Great Memory on Technorati.

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