If you manage or own a retail outlet, you know how critical it is to provide your customers with positive experiences in your store. If you do so, your customers are far more likely to make a purchase, to shop in your store again, and to refer others to your business. It therefore pays to think about your store from your customers’ perspective and to optimise their experience as much as possible. Here are five ways to help you achieve this.
1. Customer Service = Customer Experience
All store staff need to provide great customer service consistently. They need to receive training and guidance on how to provide the best possible service to all of your customers. They should know and understand your products intimately, be able to problem-solve, be able to manage difficult and angry customers, and know how to close a sale. As an employer, it’s up to you to provide you staff with the ongoing training, incentives and support to do their job well. This is probably one of the single most important investments you’ll make in your business, as your people are pivotal to the success of retail operations. One bad customer experience can undo 100 positive transactions as word of mouth and social media can quickly unravel your reputation.
2. Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness
There’s a reason this expression has come into being. Providing a clean, visually appealing store in also vital to providing your customers with positive experiences. Who wants to see dirt, dust or crumbs when they’re shopping? Don’t leave this to chance or staff doing a poor job at the end of the working day. Outsource your cleaning to a professional contractor, such as AMC Commercial Cleaning, to ensure the job gets done right the first time.
3. Merchandising Is an Art
If you have children, you know how frustrating it is when you’re trying to pay for your groceries at the checkout and your kids are grabbing all the confectionary that has been strategically placed at the point of sale. This is Merchandising 101 and it’s one of the most effective ways to move product. If you’re unsure of how to effectively position, price and promote your merchandise, it’s time to up-skill. This is an absolutely essential component to any retail operation, so start your research, do a course or enlist the help of sales and marketing specialists.
4. Create the Right Type of Ambience
Your target clientele will determine the type of atmosphere you should create in your store. This will dictate colour schemes, soft furnishings, décor and lighting. Getting this right is key. By making customers feel good when they’re in your store, you will increase the odds of purchases as well as repeat and referral business.
5. Make Music Work for You
Have you ever been in a shop or café and the music has been excessively loud or clearly to the liking of the shop assistants rather than the customers? This is the fastest way to agitate and get rid of customers, so make sure you select your tunes carefully and all staff are aware of acceptable music.
Providing positive in-store experiences to your customers is a retail business basic and will significantly affect the profitability of your operation as well as your longevity in the market place.