Every year it is becoming increasingly more difficult to draw customers into your retail store. One of the key strategies to increasing sales is through improving customer experience in retail.
With the emergence of eCommerce, consumers have shifted away from brick and mortar shopping. Instead, they go online and conveniently place orders from the comfort of their homes.
What does this mean for retail owners? This means you need to get creative and figure out a way to offer in-store customers a unique and pleasurable experience which cannot be matched through online shopping. This can be a difficult yet rewarding process, necessary for your business.
A step-by-step guide to improving customer experience in retail stores
Offer a unique customer experience
One of the most overlooked steps in the process of improving customer satisfaction is to create a unique experience.
Much of our standard, repetitive shopping can be automated or processed through online shopping, auto orders, delivered groceries, or subscription services. When a customer enters a store, they want an exceptional experience.
Retailers who excel at customer experience offer:
- immaculate customer service
- expert advice
- tangible products and samples
- additional services
Consider how you can best serve customers who enter your store by creating a unique retail experience.
In today’s competitive digital world, you are not only competing with other retail stores, but you are competing with the internet.
Start with your employees
Serve more than just your customers. Your employees are key to your customer experience strategy.
You can create a functional workplace equipped to provide an exceptional customer experience in retail by:
- creating a positive corporate culture
- recognizing good work with appreciation and appropriate pay
- valuing employees
Ensuring that your employees are happy not only correlates to the happiness of your customers, but employee retention is more cost efficient as well.
Reward Your Loyal Customers
It costs five (5) times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain a new customer. It is crucial to any successful business to have repeat customers. An excellent customer experience should include rewarding your loyal customers.
Rewards can range from anything to discount coupons given out through email, or to a rewards plan that gives customers discounts if they have bought a certain amount of product. When customers are rewarded for their brand loyalty, they will come back.
Gather Customer Data
Two kinds of data can help guide your improvements to a better customer experience.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Sometimes the easiest way to figure out what your customers want is to simply ask them. This can be done by creating in-store questionnaires and online polls on social media websites. Talk to your customers to gain feedback. This can be as casual as checkout lane conversation or a formal focus group.
Don’t forget to monitor the feedback reported online. Reputation management should be on your marketing department’s To-Do list, as they manage, review, and appropriate reply to online review sites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, and others.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) can also guide your customer experience strategy. Tracking sales, foot traffic hours, returns, and other sales data will help you increase sales through data.
Is Customer Experience Important?
Every year, companies in the United States lose an estimated $75 million because of poor customer service. One of the few ways a retail store can stand out is through improving customer experience in retail environments.