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Sav-Mart tip: Don’t pressure customers

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Rob Allen, customer service manager at Sav-Mart

Sav-Mart, the furniture and appliance store in north Wenatchee, competes with big-box national chains by offering wide selection, in-store service and financing and — they’re famous for this — superior customer service.

Locally owned since 1962, Sav-Mart’s sales and service folks aim to help, not hurry, customers into considering all their options before making that important buy, says customer service manager Rob Allen.

Buying an appliance or large furniture item can be a major purchase for a family or household,” he said. “So they need to shop carefully and ask lots of questions. We try to help them get some answers.”

A few of Allen’s tips for customer satisfaction:

• Greet customers when they enter the store. Let them know you know they’re there and ready to offer help if and when they need it.

• Helping customers is smart; pressuring them isn’t. A skilled salesperson should be able to assess how much attention a customer wants. “Let them roam around and look and think,” said Allen. “You don’t want to sit on their backs.”

• If the customer is open to suggestions, then try to establish a relationship that’s personal yet impersonal. Be genuine, but not judgmental. Listen closely and avoid heavy selling of a product the customer may not want.

• Think “follow-up.” Greet the customer, then check later to make sure they’re finding what they need. If you make a sale, call the customer in the next day or two to say thank you. After delivery of the item, call again to make sure it was installed right, looks good and is operating properly. Phone calls are easy and go a long way to making the customer feel appreciated.

• Sales and service people should keep in mind that you can’t please all the people all the time. “But you should at least try,” said Allen. “We should definitely try.”

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.