In the course of shopping for things we need for our new townhome, I’ve observed something over and over again. With the sluggish economy, many workers in the sales industry have little business and lots of free time on their hands. They fall into two categories..

You have what I call the loafers…Salespeople who sit around doing absolutely nothing except talking to each other. Then you have the hands on workers…Salespeople who manage to find something constructive to do in between customers. Today while shopping, I came across both types.

In one store, the sales staff was huddled together talking and laughing while several customers wandered through the store searching for someone to assist them. Every time a customer needed help, they had to walk back up to the customer service desk.

In another store, the two salespeople were straightening up shelves and offering to assist the few customers who came through the door. They were polite and friendly and made the shopping experience a pleasant one. Every customer walked out smiling.

In these tough economic times, customer service has never been more important. With so much competition and so little business, it is imperative that management stress this to their sales staff and set an example worth emulating.

P.D. in Raleigh…You inspired this column by the way you treat your staff and customers. You are terrific!

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