Performance in People (PiP) recognises that the level of customer service a business provides will be influenced by the type of purchase a customer is looking to make. For example, the level of service you would expect to receive when filling your car up with fuel will be rather different to if you were looking to buy a new car. PiP has defined these environments into three categories: Self-select, assisted purchase and full sales. These translate into our award-winning BMS® scoring methodology too! We have separate scoring metrics for each service environment providing a fair metric for the different types of industries we work with.
One example of a difference in characteristics across the service environments is ‘made themselves available to the customer’ which sits under the ‘Assisted Purchase’ environment. This relates to occasions where the customer is browsing, or trying on clothes, and the member of Staff goes out of their way to let the customer know they will be ready for any questions, advice or opinions, despite not being physically close. This doesn’t apply in ‘Full Sales’ service environments as the member of Staff is with the customer throughout the majority of the interaction. Others have set higher thresholds for Full Sales service rather than Assisted Purchase, such as ‘Made small talk’, ‘Greet’, and ‘Farewell’, to name a few.
This is how we have defined the three different service environments:
In a self-select environment a customer will be able to buy the product without any help from a member of staff and interaction is only likely to occur when the customer reaches the till point. The transaction value in self-select environments is often quite low and the amount of time spent with the customer can be as short as a few seconds e.g. when you buy the daily newspaper. Therefore, the level of service a customer expects to receive will be minimal. This provides a great opportunity for these businesses to ‘wow’ their customers and exceed their customers’ expectations. With no sales pressures or requirement for detailed product knowledge, staff can really focus on demonstrating great behaviours to improve the overall experience for their customers.
In an assisted purchase environment, the customer will need to interact with a member of staff in order to make a purchase. During the interaction the member of staff will be required to go through the sales process to an extent, but not as in-depth as taking contact details and filling out forms. Examples may include buying a new BBQ, a laptop or a washing machine. Customer expectations are higher in assisted purchase environments compared to self-select; staff need to demonstrate strong product knowledge and the ability to recommend suitable products that fit the customers’ needs. Upselling and cross-selling can occur for the benefit of the customer and providing a professional and helpful service may even help close the sale – but this is not essential for every single customer.
Full sales environments relate to big ticket or premium product purchases. In these situations, the customer will need to be taken through the full sales process in order to make the purchase. Examples include buying a new car, kitchen, bathroom or household furniture such as a sofa. Full sales environments can often be high pressure with the requirement to take the customers’ details, qualify the customers’ needs, upsell, cross-sell etc. The level of service expectation is considerably higher in full sales environments compared to self-select and assisted purchase – businesses need to ensure customer service is not overlooked as they follow these set processes. Businesses that require the full sales experience must ensure they not only exceed the customers’ service expectations but also the service expectation delivered in self-select and assisted purchase environments. Building rapport and demonstrating thorough product knowledge is key to giving the customer confidence in the prospective purchase and could lead to closing the sale.
Want to know more?
PiP has over 23 years of experience delivering compelling mystery shopping that provide valuable insight into the levels of service being provided. If you would like to find out more about our services, contact us directly.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01983 568080.