Make It Easy


Thursday, April 26, 2001

Hiding products from
customers fails to please

Last week we discussed the first three ways you can make it easier for customers to do business with you. Pretend you are your customer and use these guidelines to check if your business is customer friendly.

Here are two more:

>> Make it easy for customers to find what they came for.

This includes good signs inside and outside your business. Whether you are a retail store or business office, customers should be able to walk through the front door and immediately locate the right aisle, the right teller, the right window that will meet their needs. The signs should look professionally made and be easy to read. Your customers are busy. If you make it difficult, they may change their mind and take their business elsewhere.

Make sure your employees know where everything is, and they know to help a customer who looks confused or lost. Be sure they are polite and helpful if someone calls asking about your products and services.

Keep some semblance of logical order in your store or office. One store moves products around frequently. Don't do that! It makes us crazy! If you are a hit and run shopper like me, you want to go in, locate the goods, cash out and get back on the road. We get frustrated if we have to search.

>> Make it easy for customers to give you money.

If you are in retail, are the cash registers easy to find and in a logical place? Are aisles wide enough and counters low enough for a person in a wheelchair to maneuver? Do you have numerous options for payment?

In all businesses, money handlers should be trained to be friendly, helpful and courteous. They should understand how to use all your money collection systems (whether credit card, check, coupons, discounts, partial billings, transfers or gift certificates.) They should know how to issue a credit and a receipt. Train them not to loudly proclaim that a credit card or a check has been refused. Much of this can be accomplished with annual refresher training or simple desk manuals that outline your procedures.

Next week, more tips to make your customers happy.

Beth Terry is president of Pacific Rim Seminars.
This column is excerpted from her upcoming book,
101 Ways to Make Your Life Easier. Send questions
on management, customer service and other issues

E-mail to Business Editor

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