How Proactive Is Your Customer Service?

BY Rachel Cagle
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Customer service may be a noun, but to make it effective, you need to make it a verb. Too many salespeople are comfortable falling into a complacent form of customer service in which they only react to customer needs when there is a problem. Serving your clients well involves so much more than just problem solving. Here’s what Vivek Jaiswal believes we can learn about providing excellent client experiences from customer service leader Trader Joe’s.

First off, Trader Joe’s never has sales or offers coupons. Why? Because its prices are always so low that customers know they’re getting a good deal there, no matter when they stop in. Can your service claim the same? That no matter when or where your clients reach out to you they know they’re receiving the best you have to offer? If not, I think it’s time you reevaluated your plan.

Tying into that point, easy accessibility is important to Trader Joe’s. It is consistently expanding its retail footprint and even has a spot on its website where customers can request areas for new stores to be built. You can do the same thing with your customer service. Do what you can to be available to your clients through as many means as possible, and then ask for feedback. Are there other ways they would like to have you reach out to them? Accessibility is the only way to gain feedback.

Trader Joe’s knows exactly how to connect with customers emotionally. Not only does every store cater to local needs, it also has been known to stock previously unavailable items for the satisfaction of one customer’s cravings. To effectively accomplish this, the company’s employees are incredibly open and helpful, encouraging customers to come to them whenever a need or feedback should arise. That is what you should shoot for as a salesperson. Be friendly to and open with your clients so that they feel comfortable coming to you with anything. Then, don’t just meet their expectations, blow them out of the water. Don’t be hesitant to go above and beyond for clients to make them feel heard and appreciated. It’s the people who do more than is expected who reap the benefits of great customer relations.

While Trader Joe’s may have many associates very willing to help customers at all times, they are not pushy about it. They do not constantly bombard customers in the stores with an overabundance of questions. Instead, outside of initial greetings, the employees actively look for a need to fill before stepping in. So, don’t go spamming your clients’ inboxes and answering machines with messages that don’t have a specific purpose. Learn to craft wholesome messages that ask important questions clients are more likely to respond to and that will show you when they require your service and what you can improve for them. Precise and concise always wins the day.