Remember the days when shopping was a family activity. It was almost like an outing. But over the years, the entire shopping experience has gone for a makeover. In this current digital world, everything and anything that a customer wants is just a click away. Thus the whole idea of online shopping has already eaten up the brick and mortar stores. But, as they say, some things just fade but never die. Similarly, you can still face online shopping with an on-ground store, if you focus on customer satisfaction. Focusing on simple factors like reducing customer waiting time using waitlist management software, providing personalized customer service, focusing on store appearance, etc helps in the long term.
What is customer experience and how does it impact your customer behavior?
Do not forget that shopping from the time we know has been an activity that has emotional value. It is an activity that people consider not only as picking their needs but also a kind of recreation. Complementing this emotion, all you need to do is focus on customer experience when a customer walks into the store.
Benefits of delivering a top-notch customer experience:
- A happy customer ensures to come back again and again. This means, one happy customer becomes a loyal customer in the long run.
- A happy customer ensures to speak about their experience and spread the word in their circle. Thus, a happy customer proves to be your marketing agent.
- A happy customer is your guaranteed customer. You may be a store dealing with a certain set of products. Later you may open a new store either in a new place or with a new product range, these happy customers are the ones whom you can bank on to be your customers for the new endeavor as well.
In addition, to the above-mentioned key benefits, there are many more benefits that you achieve due to customer satisfaction. Gone are the days when there were fewer products and fewer choices. Customer satisfaction was dependent on the quality and availability of the product.
But over the years with so many brands coming in offering so much variety, customer satisfaction has moved to the experience they get while buying a product. Thus, it has become imperative for all stores to achieve that right balance of product experience and customer experience.
8 powerful and simple strategies that would help you achieve customer experience at your Brick-and-mortar stores:
Make yourself accessible:
Though the idea is to get customers to your store, the fact remains that to achieve this you need to take the support of technology. In other words, we all know that people look for their shopping destinations online and then visit the store. Therefore, your first step to creating a customer experience begins with your virtual presence. Ensure you do have a social media presence and accurate store details and route map online. Let the customer get a glimpse of your store and realize that your store is accessible and worth visiting.
Focus on the store look
Once the customer walks in, it is your store’s look and feels that shall first attract the customers. Therefore, that your store is well kept with well-defined product placement. Ensure that the store ambiance is vibrant and engaging. No matter what is the size of your store, ensure that you have adequate space for your customers to move around. Organize your products and place them in a well-defined way. Make it easy for the customer to understand what you provide and whether it is the place for them to shop. Remember that no matter what you sell, a store has a whole must cater to a family shopping experience. Ensure that the store is kids friendly. For example: Have some tiny goodies or chocolates to engage children. Children are great brand ambassadors.
Have a well-trained staff
This aspect can be called a crucial way. From time immemorial, the very thought of shopping gives you a picture of a person showing the collection and customers choose. This is something that no online shopping can provide. So, bank on this. Have a well-trained staff that knows how to handle customers. They should know how to greet and engage the customers. The staff should make the customers feel special the moment they walk in. They should understand what the customer wants and make them have a run-through of all the options that match their requirement. In addition, ensure that your staff is good at handling customer grievances. As much as it is important to make a new customer happy, it is equally important to make an unhappy customer happy.
Always have the stock
There are two types of customers. 1. These know what they want. 2. This set knows that they want to buy something but are open to exploring the options. Whatever may be the type of customer walking into your store, remember that you need to have all the products that you promise to offer. Not having a product that the customer asks for is a big turn-off for the customer. Not only does it dissatisfy the customer but also increases the probability of the customer not coming back. Don’t forget the competition. Therefore, ensure that you have all the products that you promise to offer and in good numbers.
Offer something more
As an on-the-ground store, you are not only competing with the online shopping trend but also with fellow on-ground stores who are offering the same products. Therefore, to ensure improved customer satisfaction, give something more at your store. Think of innovative offers and deals. Offer goodie bags to your frequent customers or make them feel special by remembering their preferences. Just like the early bird offers, have some interesting offers for your first-time customers. This kind of activity makes the customer feel special and wanting to come back to your store.
Customers love customization. In other words, customers like it when what they like is tweaked a bit to match their specifications. Therefore, depending on what you offer, try to provide customization. If you are a store dealing with fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, etc, customization is a great way to attract customers.
Have a feedback mechanism in place
Most of the on-ground stores take this aspect easy. But, this plays a very crucial role in creating a personal connection with your customers. Have a book or check personally with your customers about their shopping experience before they step out of the store. If they have any grievances and if you could address them instantly, then attend immediately. If you cannot, then you can either make a note of it for your improvement or address the same as a post-sale service. In which way taking feedback is like hitting two birds with one shot. It not only ensures that no customer stays unhappy but also proves to be a great source of learning and improvement.
Post-sale customer service
If you thought success lies in getting customers and making them leave happily, then you have mistaken. The circle of achieving customer satisfaction can be called complete only if you offer post-sale customer services. This is nothing but doing small gestures like sending birthday wishes, sweets at festivals, etc that not only makes your customer feel special but also increases your brand recall value. Therefore, there has to be a process in place to offer post-sale customer service. When we speak of post-sale services, you can once again use technology. In other words, post-sale share a thank you note or happy customer experience on your store’s social media handles. If possible tag the customer. Customers like when they are appreciated and thanked publicly. From the store perspective, sharing customer moments on social media is like adding to your testimonials and also making your brand visible to more customers.
The above-mentioned strategies can be called the most effective and easy ways to achieve customer satisfaction. In addition to these long-term strategies, you can find more ways to enhance customer satisfaction. Whatever strategy you embrace, there are some pointers that you must follow:
- First, understand your store yourself. Look at your store as a customer. In other words, look at your store from a customer’s perspective and define what your store needs to create that impeccable customer experience.
- Understand your customer. Make a note of who are your target customers and what they would like to see or experience when they walk into your store. Based on this understanding infuse elements that your store needs.
- Create staff training programs. As your staff plays a key role in customer satisfaction, it is essential that spend sufficient time and effort, to train your staff. Link their incentives to customer experience. Make them understand the importance of the same. This will ensure that the staff acts responsibly when customers walk in.
Thus, it is clear that to achieve customer satisfaction, you must ensure impeccable product quality wrapped in personalized customer service. Thus, you can ensure that your customer feels happy and special. Considering that there is huge importance attached to customer satisfaction, there has been software also that helps you embark on this journey with ease.
Allen Daniel has done master’s in literature and is currently working as Content head at Awebstar, the Best Queue Management Software. She likes to write about technology, gadget reviews, and marketing strategies.