I’m a bit obsessed with retail customer service. Few things can make or break a shopping experience like the courtesy and care you receive from a store employee. I’m also fascinated by factors that keep the front-line retail employee motivated and engaged to continually provide excellent service. There’s a lot of good stuff out there on the topic (a Google search of “how to keep retail employees motivated” produces 19,600,000 results!), much of it complex, because, well, people are complex. Yet there’s a simple approach we can all employ that I have no doubt will produce overwhelmingly positive results across all retail establishments.
If we want great customer service, we need to start by being great customers.
The quickest, easiest thing we can all do to raise the collective quality of customer service in retail is to recognize great service immediately when we receive it. The person you praise one day will be shopping in your store the next. I'm not talking about an online survey to be filled out later, which is still important. I'm talking real-time, face-to-face, when commending a person matters most and can have the most impact.