This site functions as an archive of Conner's Blog, which was a blog from 2006-2014 located at Images and links are likely to be broken.

Customer Service Rules

I've been having some horrendous customer services experiences as of late. In frustration I've written down my 11 rules for sales.

  1. Smile - Nothing dampers my mood to buy faster than a sales person who looks like he's about to go on a shooting spree.
  2. Listen and pay attention - Do not assume you know what's going on. If you hear someone talking about cell phones and cameras and whether something works on one when it's labeled for the other one, don't assume it's a memory card. They could be talking about LCD screen protectors.
  3. Don't lie - This should be obvious, but I've had it happen.
  4. Don't make things up - If you don't know the answer either find someone that does or look it up. If you cannot figure it out let the customer know. I'm more likely to come back if I know you’re willing to admit you don't know.
  5. Don't just read the box - I've had several experiences where sales associates didn't see Linux written on the box and just said it wouldn't work. I've asked them to do a quick Google search for me and have always been denied. Google is your friend; just tell the customer that unless the manufacture supports it, you can't provide any support. Chances are, if they were willing to purchase it unsupported by the manufacture, they wouldn't come to you anyway.
  6. Know your co-workers - When I used to sell computer components, I knew which one of my fellow employees would know the answer to certain types of questions. Everyone has their area of expertise, don't hesitate to use them.
  7. Never ignore the low cost items - Your customers usually want to spend as little as possible. Show them the lower priced items, and then tell them what benefit they get by spending a little more. No one enjoys looking at a $400 laptop and having the salesperson push a $1200 laptop.
  8. Never answer the phone - Ok, maybe never is a bit much, but if you have customers in the store let the phone ring. The customers in the store can buy something now, the person on the phone is most likely price shopping.
  9. Learn to handle more than one customer - This may seem like bad service, but if done right you can do it. Pay attention and know when to say "I'll give you a minute to think about it” or similar. Walk over to the unattended customer and let them know your there. Just acknowledging the customers presence goes a long way toward making them happy.
  10. Know your competitors - This does not mean you should go wander through their stores on a weekly basis, but you should know who would have something you may not have or be able to get. Also knowing things like who has the best cable prices will earn you repeat business, even if it is not for cables.
  11. Break the rules - If your customers aren't walking out the door happy change something up. What worked yesterday may not work today.