Creating successful retail customer service experiences is not as hard as it seems – depending on how high you set the bar, of course. There are several things all customers look for in their retail customer service experiences, and these things can be labeled, measured, and improved upon:
Make every communication and connection with your customers a personal experience – use their name, refer to their previous experiences, relate to them as human beings. We’ve written about this a number of times already, about how people crave a human connection and about how developing such relations can and will help boost retail customer service experiences across the board.
Let your customers experience a visually appealing visit when they come into a store or visit your website. Let them touch and feel things so they can solidify their experiences with sensory memory. It’s important for your customers to be able to envision themselves living with a product or service – what will it be like on a day-to-day basis? If they’re buying a sofa, how will it affect their lives? If they’re buying a pair of jeans, how would it feel to wear them on a regular basis? Humans are sensory creatures, so giving them the ability to ‘try out’ a product or service is a great way to get them to visualise what it would be like to own that product.
Don’t overload your customers with every single item you might have on sale. Narrow it down by asking questions or – online – building in algorithms to isolate people’s preferences. By curating the retail customer service experience, online or offline, you show the customer choices based on their preferences. This eliminates an overabundance of choice that can threaten the customer’s decision-making process – by showing them only what they are most likely to purchase, not only are you showing them that you care enough to remember what it is they like, it also makes it more likely that they will buy something.
A seamless integration between online and offline experiences is vital in this day and age’s expectations. Most everything today is online – or at least, we expect it to be. It’s vital for any retail customer service experiences to deliver an efficient transition between an online and an offline transition. For example, if your online platform is running smoothly and your customer orders something for delivery, how is the delivery service? Does it meet the same standards that you have set in your purchasing service? What about after-sales service? If the customer has a question or wants to return a purchase, how well do your retail customer service experiences live up to the challenge? Ironically, this is one of the key areas we often look to test in our mystery shopping programs.
If you want to sell, make sure your website and online platforms are compatible with mobile technology – whether it’s an app or just a responsive website, make sure your customers won’t miss out simply because you’re not mobile tech compatible. People crave convenience, and how much more convenient can you get if not by providing people with mobile access to at least the basics. Even if you don’t have an e-commerce platform from which to sell your products, at least provide would-be customers with a place to find information like opening hours and basics – shoppers want information at their fingertips, and if you’re not providing it and your competitor is they’re more likely to go to them.