The Secret to Boosting Retail Customer Experience
Retail customer experience flailing? Looking for a way to boost it? Let us let you in on a simple secret: all customer experiences are about people, so if you want to boost your retail customer experience you have to build up a people culture and train your team to live and breathe it.
One of the most prominent complaints customers bring up is the lack of service quality in the retail frontline. In the day and age of social media channels and instant messengers, minimising the amount of complaints that come in is a must.
In the words of Dr. Sean Guillory:
“In-store complaints that primarily focus on subpar service within the retail store — including the perception of unfair, rude or inadequate attention from sales associates — emerged as the second most frequently cited complaint category among the analyses. The perception of in-store failures is ubiquitous among specialty apparel formats.”
Providing more-than-just-adequate training for frontline service staff and teaching them about the people culture you’re building into your business is the very first step to take. Retail customer experience needs to be about the customer, and the sooner all frontline teams embody that idea, the sooner your customers will start delighting in your customer service experiences.
It’s important to remember that customers are people too, and need to be treated with respect and understanding. Customers want to be trusted, listened to, and actually heard.
Some simple ways to get your team into the people culture way of thinking:
4 Ways to Improve Retail Customer Experience
- Teach them to be active listeners.
- Teach them to be honest with your customers in a tactful way.
- Encourage them to take into account the customer’s best interest, not the best interest of the store.
- Train them to connect with customers on a personal, human level.
Active listening is the best way to get to the bottom of what it is that a customer is really after – remembering that not all customers will be gifted with a silver tongue, and may not be able to properly express or explain what they’re looking for. Active listening is a strong part of a good retail customer experience, and makes a big difference in satisfying customers.
Once your team knows what the customer is really after, it’s vital that they’re honest with them – thinking of the best interests of the customer. Honesty can come at a cost, obviously, so a certain amount of tact is needed. Let’s not lose the rapport you’re trying to build with the customer by being blatantly honest; telling a customer they look fat in the dress they’ve chosen, is probably not the best way to win them over.
After listening and communicating honestly with the customer, the retail customer experience needs to be consolidated by the maintenance of the rapport by connecting with the customer as a human being.
So the one simple secret for boosting retail customer experience? Treat your customers like the real people they are and give them a real, honest experience.