By Inga Van Riper
Why does a customer become loyal to a store? Is it the displays, the size of the store? No, a customer becomes loyal to a store because of their in-store experience. This comes down to the customer care, attention to detail and the overall customer experience that is provided by your staff. To help, I have put together these tips for creating and building a better customer experience to help your business to be more successful.
Open up a Dialogue With Customers About Their Experience:
You have heard the phrase, “don’t ask don’t tell”. This also happens in a retail store. If you don’t ask, your customers won’t tell. And what you don’t know will indeed hurt you. By gathering solicited feedback from your customers that includes their overall satisfaction level and areas of improvement, this valuable information can be used to strengthen customer service expectations, more engaging in-store merchandising displays and so much more.
A simple way to gather insights from your customers is to set a tip box for suggestions on how you can improve your store. You can also host a VIP round table discussion with selected customers to share their thoughts and welcoming suggestions between you and your customers.
Over Deliver Every Day:
A successful retail stores is about more than just product quality. When a customer enters into your retail store, they expect to find a pleasant, enjoyable atmosphere and a respectful, attentive and knowledgeable staff. When done correctly, will make your customers feel appreciated and will want to come back.
It is a challenge for small retailers to measure these markers, making it difficult to adjust customer experiences and expectations. However, the customer experience is very important to build long-term customer loyalty. The challenge for you businesses is to implement technologies that will help them better understand these behaviors or feelings to create customer experiences that is more engaging and satisfying.
By exploring the behaviors that enforce your off line or online networks and communities, aka your Social currency, can help reinforce the behaviors that strengthen the relationship with your customers, address customers needs, for a more desirable customer experience.
Use Solicited and Unsolicited Social Feedback:
Use both types of Social Feedback to improve your relationship with your customers. Online surveys, and other solicited feedbacks can provide your store with valuable information into overall customer satisfaction. But don’t ever forget the unsolicited sources such as YELP, TripAdvisor and similar sites. Bottom line is that a person who uses social media trust these platforms and trust customer’s opinions and it can have a direct influence on a customer’s buying behavior.
There was a survey done by Forbes The customer experience feedback on these social channels is highly relevant to today’s consumers because they trust other customers’ opinions, and it often directly influences their buying decisions. In 2012 Forbes Magazine did a survey and found that 81% said that friend’s social media posts directly influences their purchase decision.
Finally, make your voice heard. Speak up for yourself and your company. Speak up and share your thoughts and opinions. Just remember your goal is to build bridges and to strengthen yourself, your employees and your business relationship with your customers.