Wyoming Business Tips for Oct 16

October 10, 2011

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Leah Bruscino, Wyoming Business Council Northwest regional director

"I know customer service is important, but it is expensive to provide customer service training to my employees. How do I know that the training will pay off?" Heather, Cheyenne

On a recent shopping trip I encountered stellar customer service -- service good enough to write about. I keep thinking about how this excellent service made me part with a lot more money than I normally would and how happy I am about it.

The stellar service began with a friendly clerk in a clothing store asking, "How can I help you?" I told her I was looking for an outfit, business casual, not a dress and that I hate to shop. She showed me a few options to get a bead on what I like, set me up in a dressing room and then brought me clothes to try on.

She left me alone to try things on but checked back and brought a few more things that she thought I might like. She gave me good advice about what looked good, what could fit better in a different size and how I could change a few things out and create several outfits. The clerk gave me advice on what should be tucked in, what shouldn't, how to make a summer top work into winter. The employee worked hard to find things that I liked. I spent $365 on some great clothes that I'm happy with and wear a lot.

I had such a good experience that four months later I went back to that store and found the same clerk and told her how much I appreciated the help and asked her to help me with another outfit. She remembered me and even remembered what I had purchased months earlier and helped me find some new things, giving me ideas to make the new items work with my earlier purchases. I ended up spending more than $500 on clothes -- again was happy to part with my money.

The customer service was the key to my happy shopping experience. The clerk was helpful but did not badger me. I did not feel pressured to buy, but wanted to. The clerk obviously had been trained well and knew what she was doing. I hope she made a commission on the sales. I can guarantee that I will seek that store out and ask for that specific clerk. This store's investment in training -- or good hiring  --certainly paid off.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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