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ARTICLESCustomer Focus

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER

The more you know about your customer's buying habits and needs, the better you can meet their requirements.

Successful customer service agents are those who understand the customer and their needs. True, it may not be possible to know this as you initially meet the customer, but a shrewd agent will unobtrusively observe and evaluate the needs of the customer and cater to them. It is pure art. For, if you have the ability to understand his requirements and meet it, what more can he ask for. You have saved him a lot of effort and time. You have answers almost as soon as he questions. He would not want to go elsewhere and start the process of explaining himself all over again. You have made his life easy by knowing and meeting his requirements. You have made him feel important and great.

For example, a good airline may evaluate a passenger as he checks in for the flight. Discreet observation will tell that they have on board two passengers traveling on business and a couple who have just been married and on their honeymoon. Both traveling the same destination, in the same aircraft and same cabin. Yet the purpose of travel being different they would have different expectations from their trip. An alert in-flight crew would make sure that they have been seated appropriately, food and drinks catered accordingly, lighting, entertainment and noise levels such as to suit the respective travelers. In short, maintain the peace and quite for a business travel while keeping the spirit of romance.

In fact, if a customer walks into your showroom, leave them alone for a while. Let them look around. In turn take your time observing them. How swiftly they move around the showroom. Do they halt at any particular section? How are they dressed? Register the items they are looking up, the interest and time taken to inspect a particular piece. Do you observe consensus between them? Does she marvel the item while he looks at the price tag. By now a smart agent will know if they are serious customers and what their interest is. What is their price range. You know what they might eventually buy. Wow so much of information ready at hand. It is now time to move in and see if they can be assisted. If they say yes and start the enquiry process, you have hit bull’s eye.

You now have sufficient data to show them only those items that meet quality as portrayed by the lady and suit his price range. You have saved their time and yours. The customer wonders how the sales agent seemed the kind who understood them very well, helped them to shop in good time and get what they wanted. They have had a wonderful shopping experience. Strangely they have had similar experiences earlier in the same showroom. It is a great place to shop.

Don’t you think the credit should go to the sales agent who has made shopping a delight just because he knew the customer’s requirement and helped them buy?

Another angle here would be the big difference between selling to the customer against helping him buy. By knowing your customer’s needs you help him buy what he wants based on his affordability, and not what you want to sell. It might even mean helping him buy from your competitor. But a sale lost today could result in a customer forever tomorrow.

For selling converts to a sale and immediate profit but understanding and helping people buy creates customers for life.

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Gangadhar Krishna

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gangadhar@delightingcustomers.com

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