Examples of good retail customer service | Sunday Observer

Examples of good retail customer service

18 September, 2022

It is a known fact that retail enterprises must provide excellent customer service to succeed. Research reveals that 93% of consumers are more inclined to return to businesses that provide top-notch customer service than to mediocre retail stores. It also reveals that over 80% of customers may switch to a competitor if the in-store service is poor.

The merchandising, the attitude of sales staff, the layout and interior decor, and the general environment play a significant part in the in-store experience. Nevertheless, the quality of your customer service has perhaps the biggest impact on how customers view your outlet and the whole business.

Because of this, it’s critical to continuously try to deliver the best standard of customer service and astound your customers each time they deal with your company and the store. The best news is that the staff has complete control over the level of the delivery of your customer service to visiting customers. Hence, the ultimate customer satisfaction is the responsibility of the organisation itself.

Prompt response

In this post, I am trying to examine the differences between a few points in good customer service practices and a few practical examples of retailers who deliver excellent customer service in the real world.

In the retail industry, in general terms, providing excellent customer service means responding to customers promptly, efficiently, and always with a smile. The major components of the strategy may differ from one organisation to another, but they are basically similar anywhere in the world.

To discuss a few basics, the first and foremost action of the staff is to greet the customer appropriately and give them a prompt response, whether they have a request, a query, or a problem, demonstrating that they are appreciated and giving the feeling that the organisation has placed all of them at the centre stage. This first action will immediately make the customer feel comfortable, and the first pleasant feelings will emerge.

Adding a personal touch to your approach by putting your own spin on it can be immensely useful to place a customer at ease and to gain instant interest. Every customer (including you when you are a customer) appreciates individual attention.

A pleasant smile and a few hearty remarks can give a human touch to the whole store. For instance, instead of pointing and saying “it’s on that aisle,” if the staff member can walk the customer to the location, you are assured of a repeat customer. In Sri Lanka, staff of most supermarket chains often provide this type of service.

Providing in-depth information to educate your customers is beneficial and helps them make their buying decisions. By deploying such practices, the customers will recognise you as a professional advisor who helps them to select the best choice. However, the information provided always must be honest and genuine, and most certainly without too much of a marketing touch.

Providing details on the ‘FAB formula’ (features, advantages, and benefits) is an extremely effective method to educate customers. However, more emphasis should be given to benefits, as people most frequently buy benefits rather than features or advantages. Also, transparency in information is a must and must be precise.

The retailer must respond instantly to customer feedback, whether it happens inside the store or after a visit to the store, whether it is positive or negative. Nothing will make the customers happier than attending to their feedback in a timely manner. This improves trust, as any customer will opine that the organisation values their feedback.

In fact, negative comments must be given immediate attention. Sometimes, action on such feedback may take time. Nevertheless, the customers must be made aware that action will be taken promptly on their comments, complaints, or even praise.

If a practical solution cannot be provided instantly, the next best thing is to follow up closely through calls, e-mails, or short messages, until the customer feels happy. A follow-up note thanking and appreciating the time taken to make the comment can be immensely helpful to the whole customer experience.

In these modern times, customers check online reviews before walking into a retail store. Hence, it is useful to keep monitoring reviews and responding appropriately. However, you have no issue in reviews if you are consciously and consistently providing the customers with a satisfying service. This is how some organisation gets five stars while some others do not.

In the retail trade today, return and refund policies play a pivotal role in brick-and-mortar or online. These policies must not only be effective but also creative in order to satisfy customers. Most retailers customarily practise return and refund policies in various types of transactions. Nevertheless, every retailer knows that it is a double-edged knife that can lead to physical waste if not managed extremely efficiently. Yet, in retail, there is no alternative.


Both return and refund policies can be extremely effective marketing tools if applied cautiously. Most importantly, the way a customer is handled by the staff on a request to return or refund can be immensely effective in building trust and loyalty. Hence, the staff, whether it is retail floor sales staff, customer service, or back office, must be given effective training on how to respond to such a situation.

Rewarding customers, first-timers or repeat customers, in the store is good customer service. It means you value their patronage, and customers appreciate such actions. The reward system is so important that for some giants in retail, such as Walmart, even a purchase receipt is not mandatory for customers to enter their reward programs.

It is revealed that the 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle) is a certainty in retail trade. That means that only 20% of your customers account for 80% of your sales. This is the reason that encouraging customer loyalty is important in the retail trade. However, some organisations promote their reward system by categorising customers into different levels where they can reward repeat customers more lavishly. Rewarding is also openly stating that you are appreciating their support.

Finally, you must streamline customer service throughout the organisation and across all channels. To build a successful and lasting relationship, an effective customer experience throughout the process is imperative. Customers, existing or future, believe that service is one of the most important factors in their decision when they purchase something.

Customer service is not merely service delivery anymore. It is the emotional response of the customer. Hence, not only at the store but also throughout the process, your reaction toward the customer, from marketing to sales to after-sales service, and everything in between, is the sustainability and growth of the business.

Customer behaviour is changing rapidly and constantly. This includes marketing preferences, buying habits, and approaches to information flow. Also, consumer demands have increased by leaps and bounds. Therefore, your customer service strategies must evolve as well. It is crucial to come up with the best ways to deliver an outstanding customer experience.