Are you hiring competent workers?

Much of what constitutes customer satisfaction and loyalty hinges on the capabilities of a company's employees.

Much of what constitutes customer satisfaction and loyalty hinges on the capabilities of a company's employees. If they provide unsatisfactory customer service or are uneducated about the products they're selling, consumers will take notice.

"Customers have done a lot more research, they go to the web, and they save the toughest questions for the phone call or the e-mail to our call centers," Chip Horner, Vice President of Pfizer Consumer Group in Morris Plains, New Jersey, told Retail Customer Service. "Some of those questions are so obscure that we have to be prepared for the unexpected in much more detail."

Product knowledge is reassuring, and keeping customers comfortable during their shopping experience can go a long way towards improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Yet it is just one of four steps to creating a reassuring in-store environment.

When a customer enters a store, he or she expects the person in the uniform to properly handle all the questions they have about a product. If a salesperson has to read a manual in front of the consumer to figure out how to use an item, it leaves an impression of incompetence and creates a level of distrust between employer and customer. A simple way to remedy this is to hire workers who are sharp and have proven in the past to have a knack for quick learning.

In addition, company knowledge is just as paramount, because "customers expect you to know more than the limits of your particular job," the media outlet explains. Even if the worker is unable to meet the consumer's needs because the question falls outside of their area of responsibility, it's reassuring to be told that someone who does have company or product knowledge is on the way.

Listening and problem-solving skills are two other competencies that all store employees should have.

"Customers expect you to listen, understand and respond to their specific needs as they explain them to you," the news source notes. And while being able to answer questions is important, asking the right ones to the customer to determine the correct product for his or her needs is just as essential. MeasureCP adds that disposition and acting interested is important, so hiring people with good attitudes and infectious personalities is key to bridging this divide. In addition, RCS adds that part of creating trust is being honest, so be sure that employees tell the truth when there's an issue instead of beating around the bush.