Shocking statistics this year of the brick and mortar of our favorite stores’ that have crumbled to the ground.  Looking back, we have seen some beautiful doors close as the world’s demands shift yet again.  Customer service had to have played a role here.  

We asked the question – what could have helped these stores prior to closing their doors?  What tactics could have been taken to help them survive the dreaded pitfall of sales?  

This list from Business Insider is very scary!  We know the digital era is upon us, Amazon is no secret.

However, the closing of doors simply due to volume shifting from brick and mortar to online does not need to mean that retail organizations must lose money.  It simply means that organizations have to emphasize the need to serve your customers with the same excellent care regardless where they shop.  Excellent customer service leads to customer retention and loyalty which is critical during times when your business model might change.

 

It is important to note that stores that are well-known for Customer Service are thriving and actually opening new locations.  Companies like Sephora, Warby Parker, Ulta Beauty, and Costco are all recognized for their excellent Customer Experience and it reflects in their projected future earnings.   Jamie Grill-Goodman writes of the Top 10 Retail Stores with the Best Customer Service.

It’s time to talk about Customer Service.   

Structuring your company and finding the right skill sets for employees is key for future success.  All employees across all teams must vibe well together and facilitating this can be tricky.  

Knowing how to work with an Operations team means you need to know your people.  Be sure to tackle any huge red flags in management first.   For example, at VIPdesk Connect, we operate on an open communications policy.  Additionally, as a virtual team, we cross over all platforms to be sure to stay in touch with all departments.  

Being sure the team is utilizing all channels across an Omnichannel platform is key as well.  Customer Service is no longer just a phone call, it needs to be available on all social networking, including chat. If you aren’t up to speed, the company may fall behind.

Do you have a Customer Service team that is balanced across all departments?  

If a team is balanced incorrectly and the workload is shifted too much on one person, that could be very problematic.  Dividing time, skills and schedules is key to making sure teams help to keep their workload disperse.   

It isn’t easy as the work varies so much! Caity Wynn writes of 5 Easy Ways to Divide Your Teams Responsibilities for The Best Workflow.  Lots of great gems there!  

Do your Customer Service Professionals feel they are treated with respect, care and understanding?  

This is truly the heart of the matter.  If a Customer Service Professional (or anyone for that matter) isn’t treated with respect, care and understanding, it most definitely will not lead to success.  This seems like a simple task, it’s well known that people want to be respected.   

It is not always as easy as the stress of the job takes its toll on humans.  Treating employees well is and always should be at the top of the list.  We have done this on our team by creating a Microsoft Teams channel for all employees called “Cheers for Peers” – where we cheer our fellow peers on!  

Does your organization have a Wellness Program in place?  

A simple extra step like creating a Wellness Program in your organization could mean the difference between employee retention and high turnover.  Not only does creating this style program help your employees get healthier, it creates a bond between co-workers and it helps them connect.   

At VIPdesk Connect, we created a Health Challenge.  It’s an employee program simply challenging you to do a small habit or health conscience decision weekly and share with the team. We post it on our Instagram and social networks to help promote our internal employees and that of our followers!  

 

 

Do your Customer Service Professionals have ongoing training and team building events?  

Employee training doesn’t always have to be mundane and boring.  Keeping it alive is the key to being sure it is still implemented into your organization’s culture.  Let’s leave this one to the professionals!  

Bruce Tulgan writes of Managing and Engaging Remote Employees and how to develop leaders.   

Their Twitter feed is chalk full of amazing ways to engage, train, manage and develop employees.  Fantastic stuff!  

Do your Customer Service Professionals have a positive work life balance?  

That word phrase “work life balance” often makes you think of work-from-home, which is fantastic and is our company culture as well.  Moving your team to a work-from-home model could literally save the organization.  Not only does it promote work life balance, it allows for expansion without overhead.

Even if you are not a remote team, how do you offer a positive work life balance for your team?  Allowing them to have creative freedom and promote their daily wellness is crucial to connecting with your team.   

Encourage the balance of work and family, time for self and time for networking.  It is very important to allow your team to be open in communication, work space and yes, we are going to say it, personal space.  As long as we are professional, personal lives can play a positive role in any organization.  

 

Let’s stop some of these doors from closing by providing elite customer service.  The digital era is here, we can’t stop that, however, we can turn around the sales numbers for some of our favorite stores, simply by providing excellent customer service solutions.  

At VIPdesk Connect, we have been known to do that.  Ask us about our services at vipdeskconnect.com/our-services. 

 

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Images:  Unsplash.com , BusinessInsider.com, VIPdeskConnect Instagram

 

 

 

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