Developing Customer Experience Strategies

Customer experience is critical to the success of all businesses! How a customer feels from the point they enter a business transaction to the point when they leave (and often afterwards) contributes to their potential for future interaction and repeat business. For individuals interested in exploring customer-focused employment opportunities, one of the most important skills to have is clear and effective communication. To help you strengthen your skills we have put together five tips to help you communicate successfully with customers.

Tips for Providing Clear, Effective Communication

1. Always use positive language when speaking with a customer. An example could be a client looking for a particular product that is not available at the moment. A positive response would be, “the item you are looking for will be available next month” as opposed to “it will not be available for another month.” Positive language sounds more helpful and friendly and will put your customer more naturally at ease.

2. Understand how to finish or close or a conversation, show that you have listened to their request, and that you care about getting it right. Examples for effectively closing a conversation would be to say, “is there anything else I can help you with today?” Or, you can also try repeating the details of the interaction back to your customer to ensure you have their information correct and they have what they need. This echoing response is a good communication tool with any interaction, it shows you are an active listener and it reinforces the importance of the interaction between you and the customer.

3. Maintain eye contact and good body language with the customer. This shows that you are attentive and listening to their needs. Non-verbal communication like body language and eye contact contributes to a significant amount of signals you send during your interactions. Pay attention to your posture, the direction that you are facing, crossed arms and other signals that show your customer that you are interested and engaged with their needs at that moment.

4. Use customer friendly language. One example is when a customer is ready to pay for their items. Try referring them to “the cash register” as opposed to “point of sale” or “POS.” Terminology that is overly technical is not helpful to customers and will create uncertainty, prompting them to ask further questions. Friendly language delivered in a positive tone will help direct the customer to the next step in a smoother interaction.

5. Communicate slowly and clearly. It is important to confirm that the customer understands important details. Speaking too quickly or giving short or partial directions can lead to confusion and a lack of clarity for the customer. Try to be clear with your steps or instructions if these are needed.

You can enhance your customer service skills with ACCES! For more in-depth educational programming about developing customer service skills and the opportunity to connect with roles at IKEA, consider joining our IKEA Canada Customer Experience Training. Additional information about this program can be found at the IKEA Canada Customer Experience Training program page.