ASUCLA’s Mission is “to provide innovative and excellent services, programs, products, and facilities for the entire UCLA community” The UCLA Store needs to ensure that we are offering the products and services our customers want, need, and value. Part of this is making sure we have the right systems in place. Examples include knowing what is in stock, what to replenish and to have a system to ring purchases quickly and accurately. Customer service standards are central to this effort.
Virtually all retailers depend, as we do, on front-line employees who work part-time and frequently move on to other areas. For this reason, it is critical that customer service standards be as simple and objective as possible. Customer service training is not a one-time event. It is an on-going effort, a consistent program of teaching the basic principles, reinforcing what has been taught, and evaluating employees according to the standards. Our standard is to exceed the expectations of every customer that comes into our store.
The cornerstone of UCLA Store’s “Superior Customer Service” involves four important behaviors:
Greet Every Customer
Offer To Help
Say Thank You
A customer’s first impression is a critical moment in their experience. Smile and make eye contact with customers. Verbally greet each customer. Customers want to be acknowledged and will feel welcomed with a greeting. Customers often want assistance. It is your job to provide information, give directions or respond to any questions our customers ask. Always demonstrate appreciation for the customer by saying “thank you” and making eye contact.
Superior Customer Service Award Program
To reinforce the service message, and to add some immediacy to the evaluation aspect, we have an award program based on these standards. Any career employee may nominate any student employee who demonstrates all four principles while serving a customer. Letters from customers, which reflect favorably on any employee’s customer service, will also be considered as a nomination. Award winners will receive a $5 credit on their Bruin Card.
Spot Award Program
The Student Spot Award Program is designed to recognize outstanding performance by student employees beyond the requirements of their respective positions. Award winners will receive a $25 credit on their Bruin Card. The award is credited to the student’s Bruin Card. Any professional employee may nominate a student who demonstrates outstanding performance.
Exceptional Performance Awards
Exceptional Student Performance Awards recognize students who have contributed to the Association’s mission and have been identified as exceptional employees by their supervisors during the performance review process. Nominees must receive an “Outstanding” performance appraisal, provide some special contribution or major project, and show exceptional commitment, leadership, and support in order to receive the awards. Nominees receive a $100 bonus in the form of a check.
Whenever you encounter a challenging customer, be sure to adhere to the following nine-step method for handling customer complaints.
1. Listen Without Interruption
Regardless of how hostile, abusive and upset the customer might be, you must listen fully to the complaint without interrupting. Ex: “Mr. Trojan, I can see you are upset, and I would like to help with the problem.”
2. Don’t Get Defensive
Avoid getting defensive and starting an argument. Your self-control will help minimize your customer’s negative reaction. Ex: Do not say, I have to follow policy, Mr. Trojan so I can’t do anything else for you.
3. Use a Sad but Glad Statement
Use a statement like, I’m sorry there is a problem, but I’m glad you’re bringing it to my attention. Don’t immediately accept liability for the problem but do show empathy. Ex: Mr. Trojan, I’m sorry. I see there seems to be a problem and you are upset about the way we’ve handled your situation. However, I appreciate that you are willing to give us another chance.
4. Express Empthay
Show you understand the customer’s feelings. This helps to further calm the customer and makes them much more willing to accept the solution you offer. Ex: I can understand that you are disappointed and upset that you have to write a new check, but we cannot accept checks written out to ‘U.C. Regents’.
5. Ask Questions to Understand the Problem
Once the customer has calmed down, you may discover the information they now give you will be slightly different from what they gave before. So you need to summarize what information you have obtained so far and ask questions to get more information. Ex: To make sure I understand the problem fully, may I ask you a few questions? When you came in the first time…
6. Find Out What They Want
Ask the customer what they want you to do, or what they want to have happen regarding their complaint. Confirm your understanding. Ex: Let me be sure I have all the facts, okay Mr. Trojan?
7. Explain What You Can and Cannot Do
If you cannot do what the customer wants, then fully discuss alternatives. Ask if one of the alternatives would be acceptable to the customer. If none of the alternatives are acceptable, refer the customer’s problem to your supervisor or manager. Clearly explain the situation to your manager so the customer does not have to explain the story again. Ex: Although I cannot take your check without proper ID, if you have an ATM card, you could get cash at the ATM upstairs. We will hold your purchase for you at the register so that you don’t have to wait in line again.
8. Take Action
Once something has been agreed upon, take action and promptly implement the agreed upon solution. If there are any delays to the solution, notify your customer and explain a new course of action.
9. Follow Up to Ensure Customer Satisfaction
After the complaint has been resolved, try to follow up and contact the customer to make sure the solution was satisfactory. Take the opportunity to thank the customer for raising the issue. Ex: Have we helped you find the item you were looking for? Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
If you are still unable to deal with a customer in a courteous manner, refer that customer to a Student Supervisor. Always direct the customer to a Student Supervisor or Department Manager before you lose your composure.
Lost and Found Procedures
Whenever you find an unclaimed item that was lost in the Store, immediately turn it in to the Store’s Lost and Found office. The phone number for Campus Lost and Found (UCPD) is (310) 825-1227. The web address is www.lostandfound.ucla.edu
Many items sold in the Store are also available through Mail Order. The most common items include:
School and Arts Supplies
These items may be ordered using specially marked order forms, by direct letter, phone, the Internet, or on demand.
Customers are charged for postage plus a minimal handling fee to offset additional supplies and time required to process orders. There is no tax applied to orders shipped outside of California.
Mail order questions about textbooks can be directed to Textbook Buyback at ext. 60784. General Book inquiries can be directed to BookZone at ext. 60788. Bearwear mail order inquiries should be directed to ext. 68051 or 1(800) UCLA RAH. School supply inquires can be directed to Essentials at ext. 60820