Four Candles! Understanding your customers needs

A big part of customer service is relating to each customer and understanding their individual needs.  Jordan, our Sales Counter Supervisor, will tell you that needs can be purchase requirements as well as personal needs.

Understanding your customer needs at the sales counter

And the easiest way to ascertain what these needs are, says Jordan, is to follow these steps:


By listening carefully to the customer you could understand their needs immediately if they themselves know exactly what they require.  Sometimes however the customer is not always aware of his needs and has come in for some advice and help.

Ask questions

If the needs are not immediately obvious then ask questions.  What do they need it for? Where are they going to use it? How quickly do they need it?  Using this information you should be able to have a clearer understanding of the customer’s needs.

Gauge body language

Some customers are in a hurry to get what they need, pay, and leave.  Others have time for a chat.  By watching their body language you can adjust your responses to offer a more relaxed and chatty response to those customers who have the time to talk.  And those who want to stay and have a chat might appreicate a cup of tea or coffee for added customer service!

Recognise any physical difficulties

If a customer does not find it easy to get about then you should approach them so they do not have to walk to you.  Offer a chair if you think its appropriate.  Some customers speak quietly or may have impaired hearing so, again, go to the customer to avoid having to repeat yourselves because you’re both too far away to hear.

Consider language barriers

With our multi-national workforce you are sure to come across customers whose English may not be at a level to clearly explain their technical needs.  In cases such as these don’t be patronising but use a more simple language when asking questions and if you believe you understand their needs maybe offer up a picture of the product to make certain.

Ensure you have a good knowledge of your products and stock

With this knowledge you can advise customers who are not too sure what they need, and you are able to offer alternatives if you don’t have exactly the make or model that the customer is looking for.  Don’t be afraid to offer an alternative supplier who will have what they are seeking if you really can’t source and supply it for them - the customer will appreciate and remember the help you have given, and is very likely to come back to you in the future.

Great customer service is about understanding your customers needs, and meeting them whenever you can.  But above all be polite, friendly, and helpful.  You're welcome to visit our shop on Whiffler Road, Norwich or, if you prefer, you can order online.

Jordan Jessett
Sales Counter Supervisor

Follow this link to see Lamberts' remake of the infamous Two Tonnies sketch - Four Candles