Maintaining a used appliance store is hard work! It’s not as simple as knowing where to source your inventory and make sales. You also must consider the long-term relationships you are building with customers. We made many mistakes early on in getting the store up and running. We lost customers and didn’t have our processes in place. As small business owners, we had to learn the hard way what to do and avoid.
In today’s post, we explain the importance of maintaining the best appliance store customer service possible, even with limited resources. There are many things we are still learning to improve our customers’ experiences.
What Not to Do When Offering Customer Service at an Appliance Store
The worst thing you can do when dealing with customers wanting your inventory is to get angry at them. There will be customers who come into your store and demand to know what’s going on. For us, we try our best to address everyone’s concerns but with many more people finding our store, it can be a challenge. We only have a few staff members ready to listen, but we do a lot with a little.
You will not find this dedication at any chain appliance store in your area. We are regular people like you, figuring things out as we go. We ask that you understand where we’re coming from so we can best help you! Be patient and understanding as we streamline our processes and get this down to a science!
Other things you shouldn’t do when dealing with customers:
1. Blame them! If you made a mistake, own it. If you didn’t, calmly explain what happened and all your efforts to fix the customer’s issues.
2. If an appliance you sold to them isn’t working, step up to the plate and go above and beyond. Don’t pass the buck onto your customer! Listen to their needs and adjust accordingly.
3. Curse and yell profanities back at them. This is always a huge no-no. It’s not worth shouting and screaming matches with people who paid their hard-earned money to buy your inventory.
These are some of the many lessons we’ve made as much effort as possible to learn during the two years we’ve had this business, especially when we first began at our warehouse and then moved.
How to Improve Your Appliance Store’s Customer Service
It all boils down to your ability to follow up with customers who buy used appliances. Check in on them a few days after the sale to ensure they are happy with their purchase. Be ready to accept phone calls and texts from previous customers if they have problems.
Make your guarantees upfront and write them in every invoice you print out for them. Make the terms 100% clear whether you are offering a 60-day guarantee or a 90-day guarantee on a purchase. Sit down with the customer and be transparent about what you’re selling, and set the expectations from the start.
Another tip we’ve learned from experience is never to take on more than you can chew. We’ve had customers way outside of our service area and we made the mistake of helping, only for it all to backfire and not end well.
Make Sure Your Customer Service Email Works!
This is another huge thing you must do as a business owner in this space. Make sure your email is working correctly and you’ve checked SMTP on your site. This is a bit more technical, but not that bad if you know what you’re doing. The reason is that a lot of customers are going to write to you. Some of them will request repairs, and others are there to ask about what you have available.
Be ready to reply and respond to them right away and never leave anyone hanging. Honesty is the best policy and if you don’t have a certain appliance they’re looking for, let them know. It’s better to be transparent than to stretch the truth just to make a bit more money. You’re building trust with customers. The last thing you need is to destroy a potential long-term relationship over inventory issues.
Invest in Appliance Store Referrals
If you make one customer happy and satisfied, they will tell other people about your store and refer their friends and family to you. Now the ball is in your court and the expectations are higher than ever! You have everything you need to keep growing the business. Now it’s time to run with the momentum and keep going. Build on top of this early success and continue to scale slowly. Put whatever money you’re earning from the appliance store back into finding better stock and paying overhead like the rent and internet costs.
If you keep your expenses low and continue to save, you’ll be in a better position in the long run. Do not get ahead of yourself, especially if you’re starting out in your market. Find a niche that works best for you and build from there. If all you sell are used appliance parts, then be the best used appliance parts store in your area. You can differentiate yourself from the rest and focus on a specific market in many different ways. Keep your expectations realistic!
Other Key Takeaways from Appliance Store Customer Service
Here are some other key takeaways to consider:
1. You are a problem solver. When customers have a complaint about something you sold to them, it’s your responsibility to fix it and do whatever you can to keep them happy.
2. Be active in your community. It will go a long way in getting more customers to trust you.
3. Offer many incentives and discounts, and have the ability to work with each customer one one-on-one to find them a good deal.
These little things will go a long way in establishing yourself as a key player in this highly competitive market. We hope you have learned much from this post and how hard we work to offer the best customer service we can. We’d love to be able to expand this operation in the future and bring on more talent to make things better!