The Guest Model: Explain

November 24, 2017

Our favorite workflow acronym at The Brandt Group is GUEST. While the model has existed as a sales flowchart for quite a while now, we’ve tweaked it to amplify customer service over pure sales, which we believe will not only help win long-term loyalty from your customers, but also ensure lasting profitability.

As you’ve no doubt guessed, each letter stands for a step in the employee-customer interaction, and it makes for an easy mental checklist for your staff to follow. Over the next few weeks we’ll cover each of these steps and how we like to measure them in our mystery shops.

Continuing from last week’s overview of Understand, the next letter in the acronym is E, which stands for Explain. After listening to the customer and asking the right questions to uncover additional needs and confirm comprehension, it’s time for the employee to do the talking.

To be effective, the employee needs to speak clearly and concisely. This is the easiest step to lose the customer in, especially when heavy amounts of jargon or technical terms are used. Avoid those! It’s an easy trap because employees live and breathe their industry through the forty-hour workweek, whereas the customer is more likely to be a novice. (Careful not to condescend at the same time.)

The employee should frame the conversation in the ways your business can meet the customer’s needs. This means addressing solutions directly to what was discussed in the Understand phase. Applicable sales and promotions should be mentioned. Take the opportunity to demonstrate the product or service to show exactly how it meets those needs—also present add-on items that will enrich or improve the customer experience.

In order to properly execute this step, employees must be trained and kept up to date, especially if your business is in a field where products are changing regularly. You shouldn’t think of your staff as trainees only when they first start—training is forever, and even wily, old veterans need best-practices refreshers now and again. This is why mystery shopping comes in. Shops can reveal how well versed your employees are on everything from products and procedures to services and salesmanship. Mystery shops offer quantifiable answers to the questions you have about your staff.

Once the solutions have been laid out, allow the customer a chance to ask additional questions or raise objections. Next week, we’ll discuss how to handle those in the fourth step in the GUEST process, Secure.

The Brandt Group specializes in profit enhancement. One of the ways this is done is through effective sales training. To learn more, reach out to us today and we’ll help develop the right curriculum for your staff.

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