I was on holidays recently in a small beachside town. The family had a hankering for fish and chips, so I wandered down to the local store to order.
When I walked into the store, the first thing I saw was a big sign announcing that if I was using a mobile phone, I wouldn’t be served.
Even though I wasn’t using my phone, in fact, I didn’t even have it with me, I felt like turning around and walking back out. The only thing stopping me, was the promise of fish and chips for the family, and no other shop to buy them from.
But having a monopoly in a retail niche, does not give you the right to treat customers to a bad experience.
So here are 6 easy steps that you can employ, to master the customer experience.
- Under promise and over deliver.
This old adage of retail is one of the key cornerstones to a great customer experience. Quite simply don’t promise the world, if you can’t deliver all that and more.
For example, if a customer wants you to order a product in for them, and you know it’s due for delivery the next day, tell them it’s due at the end of the week. It will give you a few days grace, in case it doesn’t arrive, or you get too busy to unpack the order. However, when you call the customer the following day to tell them it’s arrived, they’re going to be super chuffed.
- Smile and say hello. With feeling.
Ugh, how many times do you walk into a department store, and the greeter says “Hi, how are you today?”. In fact, even if they said “Hi, can I help you today” you’d probably reply with “fine thanks”, because you know it’s insincere. A robotic task, given to someone who doesn’t care whether you’ve had a bad day or a great day.
This is one of the key areas that you can different from a big department store. Get your tem to step out from behind the counter, and give a genuine hello, and train them to listen to your customer’s reply.
- Be Vigilant
Have you ever been to a website a week after a holiday, and the promotion is still displaying across the top of the site? All excited, you get ready to shop, only to find the promotion has long since ended, yet the store owner hasn’t gotten around to taking the promotion down.
The same thing can easily be overlooked in store or when running ads to a promotion.
When it comes to a fabulous customer experience, it pays to be vigilant and assign tasks, or set alarms, to ensure that when a promotion ends, all signs of it are taken down, on all platforms.
- Stay Relevant
As a professional in your retail niche, it’s your job to stay abreast of current trends, hot topics, and events.
Sharing this information with your customers, either when you talk with them, on social media, or in your newsletter, shows them that you’re in the know, that you have their best interests top of mind, and that you aren’t a retail dinosaur.
- Embrace omni-channel retailing.
Heard of it, but not quite sure what omni-channel retailing means (or if you are one?). Does that word scare you?
Let’s start with what omni-channel retailing is. Simplified, it’s the ability for a customer to buy through multiple channels, be it online, over the phone, in a shopfront or market stall, or via social media, but with the customer experience at the core – no matter which option they choose, the process is seamless. Brand cohesiveness, mobile responsiveness, and great customer service training will wow your customers.
- Don’t Forget Your Posse
You can implement these first 5 steps, but if you forget your team, it will all be for nothing. Having a happy group of people, who enjoy working with you, are passionate about what they sell and love coming to work, is the cornerstone to a great customer experience.
Whether you agree with that sign in the fish and chip shop or not, you have to agree that the only things it did for their customers, is leave a bad taste in their mouth.
All of these strategies hinge on you. It’s your retail store, so it’s up to you to develop the brands voice, it’s values, the systems and processes and hire the right people. And if you need help doing that, I’m available to help you. We can grow your retail store. Together.