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The Service Customers Want in Stores and Online

Are you providing good customer service both online and in person?

A recent survey from the National Retail Federation shows that customers’ expectations for online service are the same as what they want when they walk into your physical store.

More than likely, you can outdo online retailers with your in-store customer service. But get to know what customers expect, and then make sure both your online service and your in-store service are meeting their standards.

What They Want

More than 55 percent of respondents to the survey say it is “very important” for online retailers to offer a flexible return policy. Big-box retailers have made product returns very easy for consumers, so think through how you can take the hassle out of your online and in-store return policies to enhance your customer service image.

Be sure to remind customers that you can do something online retailers cannot when they make returns. You can, in person, help shoppers find the correct products or troubleshoot any problems they may have had with the items they purchased.

Even if they are shopping online, shoppers still value the personal touch. More than 50 percent of survey respondents say it is either important or very important to have live customer service.

Unlike at online stores, your staff can walk customers through a project or answer questions in person, if they have been trained properly. Be sure they can handle customer service calls from online customers just as skillfully.

Use NRHA’s training courses to enhance your employees’ product and project knowledge. For more information, visit nrha.org or call NRHA at 800-772-4424.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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