ME-OVERTHEHILL-APR11_46Senior citizens are canny shoppers. But we don’t just look for a great bargain. We also want good customer service.

There is no excuse for the lack of good customer service and there is no substitute for it.

Word of mouth is a strong recommendation. And negative word of mouth can bring a business to its knees.

Without customers bringing money into a business, there’s no money to pay the employees or the building’s rental and utility costs. Customers are the life’s blood of retail businesses, and customer service is the heartbeat that will bring your customers back time and again.

Why do so many our residents go to St. George, Utah, or Las Vegas for shopping and professional services? It’s the draw of higher quality customer service.

A few essential customer service skills are the willingness to learn, care about getting it right and show the willingness to keep going until you get it right. Greeting your customers when they enter your store can make them more comfortable.

Good customer service is showing patience and attentiveness. Having clear communication skills, including diction, is mandatory. Have you called a business for whatever reason and listened to the word race spit out by an bored employee? You have no idea what the person on the telephone said. Telephone skills are top priority. The telephone is the customers first impression of your business.

A business must have the capability to understand its customers’ needs. The business owner or employees must know their products and be able to explain their use and advantage to the customers. Customer service doesn’t end with the sale. The end goal shouldn’t be making the sale; the end goal should be a satisfied customer who will tell others about the positive experience and return to your store to shop again.

It’s hard for Mesquite businesses to compete with the prices and selection that larger stores in Las Vegas or St. George can offer. But they can provide customer service better than any business located miles away.

Good to outstanding customer service is essential if the business is to survive in today’s marketplace.

Businesses need to reach out to their customers. Accept all criticism as constructive. Accept the challenge. Dare to become the best at providing customer service, and you’ll attract not just senior citizen customers, but those of any age.