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‘Tis the Season for Customer Service

It’s that season again . . . time for the hustle and bustle and last minute holiday shopping. Whether you are fighting the crowds at malls or sitting at your home computer, quality customer service makes any shopping experience that much better. Customer service is a PR tool any company must employ to be successful.

An article posted on Newsweek explains the top 10 stores that offer the best customer service provided by the National Retail Federation.  In alphabetical order:

-JC Penny
-Lands End
-L.L. Bean

This ranking is based on excellent customer service, familiarity and availability of staff and various communication outlets. Here are a few of the stores that meet customers’ needs.

One way L.L. Bean ensures quality customer service is through customer care on its website. Its website provides the ability to chat live with a representative or customers can contact an L.L. Bean representative via phone or e-mail. L.L. Bean also has an admired return policy that allows customers to return items at anytime, regardless of when they made their purchases.

Though Nordstrom is the only high-end retailer to make the top 10 list, like L.L. Bean, Nordstrom also has a generous return policy. Items can be returned at anytime and you are guaranteed a full refund. Nordstrom hires knowledgeable staff and has a sufficient number of people working in each department, making your shopping experience smooth and time-efficient.

Amazon is strictly an online store. A perk of buying from Amazon is that you can shop from home, which is convenient for people who work regularly or have children at home. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Amazon representatives through e-mail, or a representative can call you back if you leave your phone number. Providing your number and waiting for a call back saves you unnecessary hold time on the phone. Customers can also sell products on Amazon. After uploading inventory, once your product is purchased, Amazon transfers payments to you.

In an article titled “Customer Service is Public Relations,” Dave Fleet states, “Every touchpoint with your customers has the potential to either build loyalty or breed dissatisfaction.”

Public Relations is all about pleasing your clients; PR professionals understand customer service makes or breaks a relationship. The PR strategies you employ with your clients through quality customer service can impact the future you have with those key publics.

People enjoy when shopping is simple; these stores’ PR departments have it down. They know what it takes to have a positive shopping experience, and they realize that quality customer service will establish a returning clientele.

Where have you shopped and experienced quality customer service?

By Paige Niewerth

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