Guest Article By: Nina Erceg-Gogic
How customer service shapes / directly affects the customers experience during the holiday season.
Tis’ the season for great customer service?
It’s mid-December, you decide to venture to a mall to get your Christmas shopping done. As soon as you get to the parking lot you realize you have made a horrible mistake. Maneuvering through the labyrinth of cars and shoppers, you finally make it into the mall where you find even bigger chaos.
I found myself in a similar situation this past holiday season. My dad and I had decided to take a chance by going shopping on a weekday evening. We found ourselves in ‘Express’ where my dad wanted to browse for a sweater. We had prepared ourselves for the worst customer service (after all it is the holiday season), however we were pleasantly surprised by the service we received … here’s why:
A short greeting was received upon walking into the store
An employee informed us of the sale (only once – this part was key)
The employee was knowledgeable of the brand
The employee also wished us a great holiday
The employee’s smile was genuine
The combination of the above five left us feeling great when we were finished with our purchase. Something as simple as a smile can change an entire customer experience, customers simply want to feel acknowledged. My father and I both walked away from the store with smiles and a better attitude about our holiday shopping.
In contrast to our experience in Express, we walked past Apple which immediately sent a shiver down my spine. Entering an Apple Store I have never felt acknowledged or like a priority. Even if you have an appointment you still find yourself waiting around often looking clueless. The customer service I have received in store has never been amazing which is contradictory to their call-in centre customer service; which I have found to be above average.
After analyzing how I would prefer my experience to be at Apple I have created a simple three set checklist of how customers want to feel while in a store:
Important – where they feel like they are a priority
Reassured (that if they have any questions, there will be someone to answer them)
During the holiday season our customer service expectations are lowered due to the busyness of retailers and amount of people shopping. However, a sincere smile or acknowledgement is sometimes all we need.
Have you had any memorable customer service encounters this holiday shopping season, either positive or negative? Let me know!
Nina Erceg-Gogic is in her third year of studies at the University of Guelph-Humber, working towards a BBA. She is an ambitious student and an aspiring entrepreneur, with an interest in the startup world. Follow her on Twitter, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about her.