The new world of shopping is still home to tried and true methods of the past

A new world of shopppig at Ace Hardware

Joe Manfrediini on the new world of shoppingGuest Post by Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware’s Home Expert and Center for Excellence Team Member, boasts more than 25 years of home improvement experience. 

The new world of shopping

Let’s face it, the way we shop and buy things now is a lot different than it was even 5 years ago thanks to online ordering, buying through an app, writing online reviews – the list goes on.  While you can order just about anything from your smart phone, the ability to touch and feel, sit, lift and just admire in real life cannot be replaced.

So, what does that mean when it comes to your customer and treating them the right way?

Celebrating 90 years of customer service growth

Well, at Ace Hardware we’ve learned a few things over the last 90+ years. We are proud to be “The Helpful Place” in the eyes of our customers. We’ve made our mistakes and gotten better with every one. The following are some of our ideas about amazing customer service, as we look to celebrate excellent customer service this upcoming Customer Service Week:

  • Seize the moment. Taking care of customers is like a Broadway show. The people that came to see the show for the first time on a Tuesday are no different than the group there on a Wednesday night. You have to perform. Never get complacent and assume that just being there is enough. How you interact and assist that customer will have a direct effect the next time they have a choice as to where to do business. If you do it well, it will be with you.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Say, “Can I help you?” and oftentimes you will get a “No,” in reply. Saying, “what can I help you find?” or “how can I help you?” can be a conversation starter and will help direct your customer in the right direction.
  • Ask the extra question. In the hardware business, if they come in for a bucket of paint we will ask, “do you need any brushes, roller sleeves, a drop cloth?” Always think about complementing products or services that may go with what the customer is seeking. That little reminder can save them a trip, increase your bottom line and leave a positive feeling with the customer that you are there to help if they need it.
  • The customer is not always right. It’s true! But your business needs customers because without them you’ll be right all the way out of business. I call it “killing them with kindness.” It’s easy to get mad and confrontational, but that helps no one. Listen and try to come to a mutually beneficial solution. Do everything you can to solve the problem.  In the end you may not be successful, but at least you can go to bed at night knowing you tried your best.

cswlogo_2016About Customer Service Week 2016

Customer Service Week 2016 kicks off on October 3rd and runs through October 7th. Ace Hardware’s Center for Excellence Team, which includes guest blogger Lou Manfredini, is proud to be celebrating the occasion by offering daily customer service tips in honor of their dedication to serving their customers all year long.

About Lou Manfredini

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Lou’s career in the industry began as a teen when he worked at a local Chicago hardware store. Lou worked as a carpenter during college and in 1985, started his own construction company renovating and building new custom homes. Lou’s role as Ace’s Home Expert is just one of the many hats he wears. For more than fifteen years, Lou has been a home improvement contributor for NBC’s “The Today Show,” where he delivers tips and guidance to millions of homeowners across the country. His Saturday morning call-in radio show on Chicago’s WGN-AM, “The Mr. Fix-It Show,” dispenses three hours of helpful DIY advice every week. Lou also produces and hosts the nationally syndicated TV show “House Smarts,” where he helps viewers improve and maintain their homes. On top of it all, Lou has authored five books chock-full of advice designed for first-time and veteran DIYers alike. Lou and his wife own two Ace Hardware stores in the Chicago, IL area; he knows first-hand that Ace truly is “the helpful place”.

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