Down Time

posted: Friday, August 26, 2011

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In a perfect world, every salesperson would be busy all of the time and go from customer to customer. But we all know that we do not live in a perfect world. We all have moments, or even days, where there is a lot of down time between customers. This down time is where customer service is often compromised. The story I am going to share with you now is not directly related to sales, but it does illustrate the idea that no matter how slow business becomes, we must always be ready to provide exceptional customer service.

We ordered take-out from a local restaurant recently. It was after 8 and on a Sunday night, and I understand that business is probably a little slower during that time period. I went in to pick up our order and found myself standing in the lobby area for over five-minutes, during which time I did not see any employee, waitress/waiter or hostess. Finally someone came out from the kitchen, saw me, and called out to an employee who was bent down behind the wait station by the front door. She just never saw us or looked up at anytime. Once she saw that we were waiting, she was very professional and provided excellent customer service.

I fully understand that as a shift is ending, every employee has assigned duties to complete. It is human nature for people to want to get things done so they can go home at the earliest possible point. However customer service should ALWAYS take priority over any cleaning, restocking or other duties. Without the customers, none of those other duties are necessary.

There are still ways to complete your work and make sure that you are serving your customers. For example, the waitress who was restocking the shelves at the front of the restaurant could still do that and provide customer service. All she has to do is look up every couple of minutes, or position herself in a spot that allows her to see the front door.

No one is saying that salespeople shouldn’t stay busy during down times; you can always work on closing techniques, reviewing your inventory or other such things. However it is vital that you remember that the second a customer walks in, they become your one and only priority. Remember that and you are golden!

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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