Drug testing

Customer Service, Italian Style

Nowadays, we complain nearly all of the time about how few businesses remember how to provide quality service to their customers. But a recent trip to Italy not only reminded me that the art of service is not dead, but that providing outstanding service is the key to almost any successful business. Here are a few well-worn but important principles that I was reminded of during that trip:

The Customer Always Comes First: When you patronize a retail store or restaurant in Italy, it is almost always the owner of the business that takes care of you. It's not that there aren't other employees; other staff members are usually busy straightening inventory or dealing with deliveries. But dealing with customers is simply too important a task to be delegated.

Product Knowledge Is King: Remember your last retail shopping experience, where you had to ask three different sales people to get an answer to a simple question about a product? Not in Italy. Every salesperson we dealt with was a product expert, whether it was about the kind of material used in a garment, the amount of warmth that various types of glove leather would provide, or how a piece of gold jewelry was crafted.

Be Proud Of What You Offer: Retail specialty stores in Italy typically offer goods in a wide range of prices to suit every budget. But you'll never catch a shop owner steering you toward their expensive wares by denigrating the quality of their less expensive merchandise. If it's good enough for them to sell, it's good enough for you to buy.

No Job Is Too Small Or Unimportant: Every morning, the streets of Florence were filled with shopkeepers sweeping their sidewalks, or polishing their doorways or cleaning their display windows. And, when there aren't customers to serve, there are shelves to be organized, merchandise to be tidied and stock to be added. These are important tasks that, no matter how menial they appear, help to create a positive business image with the customer.

Competitors Are Not Your Enemies: More than once, we were referred to another shop when the one that we were visiting did not have what we were looking for. More interested in building a long-term relationship than in making a quick sale, shopkeepers in Italy readily refer customers to competitors who can better meet an immediate need, knowing that the best customers will remember who referred them.

Running A Business Should Be A Joy, Not A Job: Retailers in Italy work hours comparable to their U.S. counterparts. However, we never once met a tired or grumpy shopkeeper who didn't have the time to give us as much attention as the first customer of the day, and who didn't go out of their way to make us feel welcome in their shop and in their city.

William von Achen is president of Strategic Management Resources, an executive coaching and management consulting firm offering advice and counsel to business owners and senior executives. For more information visit our web site at http://www.smrweb.com

limousine chicago service
In The News:

5 Golden Online/Offline Business Rules To LIVE Or DIE By

Whether online or off, if you plan on running or... Read More

Basic Levels of Consumer Integrity that Presently Permeates Society

Reality is not always pretty. But here is a tad... Read More

CRM For Beginners ? Customer Relationship Management Basics

In order to maintain a successful business, the business must... Read More

10 Customer Service Quality Statements to Measure up Against

It might sound quick and simple, to say how well... Read More

Is your Online Business Customer-Friendly?

Customer service is increasingly seen as one of the most... Read More

Make Your Customer Your Friend

The simplest way to describe a 'durian' (pronounced doo-ree-ann) is... Read More

Add Value - And Kill Mediocrity in Customer Service

There are two kinds of customer service we all experience... Read More

Restaurant Scheduling for Success

- Excerpt from Richard Saporito's latest e-book "How to Improve... Read More

Managing Your Business When One Client Takes Alot of Your Time

How often has your schedule been thrown out of whack... Read More

DONT Give Your Customers What They Want!

One of the mantras we hear repeatedly in business is... Read More

Customer Service, the Internets Primary Neglected Business Concern

Customer service is everything to a business. Just look at... Read More

Communicating Value

Abstract: People buy for their reasons, not yours. This article... Read More

Sending Mixed Signals Can Send Your Clients Away

I call it the "wave and roll."You walk up to... Read More

Importance of Good Customer Support in Online Computer Peripherals Shops

Looking for hi-fi computer peripherals? Finding it tough to decide... Read More

Making The Most Of Newsletters

Newsletters can be wonderful tools for communicating with your customers... Read More

6 Reasons Why Complaining Customers are Golden

With Some Tips on How to RespondTt has probably happened... Read More

What You Need to Know About CRM

1. It's all about the customer. Some companies focus too... Read More

Customer Service Is More Than Just Being Nice To People

Many organizations tackle to the issue of customer service by... Read More

Are You Giving Your Customers Enough Reasons To Return To Your Business?

Good customer service just isn't enough anymore in the marketplace... Read More

Communicating for Profit and Customer Satisfaction

The President of a 200+ store division of a major... Read More

The Reality of Customer Service in America and Best Efforts in Franchising, We Can Do Better

Yesterday I went to buy a sandwich at a franchised... Read More

Service Equals Performance Equals Service

Service can be described as a "performance" of some kind... Read More

The 3 Rs of Customer Service

What I am about to tell you may seem very... Read More

Customer Service - Winning Customer Experiences

Winning Customer ExperiencesMuch research has been done on what the... Read More

We Got It Wrong: Never Under Promise & Over Deliver

You know how it is, you believe something for so... Read More

induction fluorescent lighting street lights for sale Pete's produce ..