OAK BROOK, Ill., Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ace Center for Excellence, a division of Ace Hardware founded to share the strategies and key principles of the brand's award-winning customer service, is celebrating Customer Service Week 2016, October 3rd – 7th, by offering tips for each day of the week in honor of their dedication to serving customers. In consistency with the division's mission to teach other, non-competitor organizations how to deliver an amazing customer experience through customized workshops and keynote speeches, the Ace Center for Excellence has identified their top customer service best practices through years of experience working in the field.
"Ace was recently ranked highest in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power for the tenth year in a row," said John Venhuizen, President and CEO of Ace Hardware. "My grateful and sincere thanks goes out to our loyal customers who have honored us with this award for a decade and the red-vested Ace heroes who serve their neighbors so effectively!"
In celebration of National Customer Service Week 2016 and ranking "Highest is Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retail Stores," according to J.D. Power for the tenth straight year, Ace's Center for Excellence Team Members are sharing some words of advice to inspire business leaders and entrepreneurs that can be applied to any industry. Daily customer service tips for each day of Customer Service week include:
- Seizing the Moment. Never switch onto autopilot when you're working with a customer. Always ask yourself, "Is what I'm doing right now going to make this customer want to come back?"
- Asking Open-Ended Questions. "Can I help you?" often invites a "no" answer. To develop customer relationships, start a conversation with questions like "What can I help you find?" or "How can I help you?"
- Asking the Extra Question. Many times, a customer may go into a store asking for a specific product. This is a perfect opportunity to open up the dialogue by asking, "out of curiosity, what are you using it for?" Extra questions that show your interest in a customer can reveal an opportunity to help them find an alternate product that works better for them and builds trust that leads to a longer-term relationship.
- The Customer is Not Always Right. Even when a customer is wrong, they're still your customer. Let them be wrong with the respect they deserve. Always give them the benefit of the doubt by avoiding arguing or debating and work on identifying what the problem really is instead.
- Mastering the Art of Recovery. Problems or complaints are opportunities in disguise. Instead of arguing about who is right or wrong, work to renew your customer's confidence in you with four steps: apologize; take action with an acceptable temporary solution; make a promise to resolve the problem; keep your promise.
The Ace Center for Excellence team is comprised of some of Ace's most experienced leaders including Ace Hardware President and CEO, John Venhuizen, Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Marketing and Sales, John Surane, Ace Hardware store owner of 25 years, Art Freedman, passionate entrepreneur and owner of eleven Ace Hardware stores, Gina Schaefer, CEO of the powerhouse Westlake Ace Hardware, Tom Knox, and Ace's Home Expert and Ace retailer, Lou Manfredini. Each team member lives the brand's promise, guiding them towards excellence in customer service leadership every day, and inspire those looking to improve upon their customer service models through customized solutions. Each team member is skilled in achieving Ace's tried-and-true strategies to ensure their businesses are most successful when it comes to building a customer-centric culture.
For more information on the Ace Center for Excellence and how to schedule a workshop and/or keynote, please visit www.acecenterforexcellence.com.
About Ace Hardware
For more than 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2016, Ace ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Ten Years in a Row," according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,900 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 17 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Ningbo, China; Colon, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.
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SOURCE Ace Hardware