The retail industry can massively gain from customer experience because of its close-bound relationship with customers. This is especially true for stores that have many competitors selling close substitutes of its products and want a non-price strategy to set them apart. However, when designing an effective customer experience strategy, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of what should be reinforced and what should be avoided to provide customers with a seamless engagement. This is why we have highlighted some of the top do’s and don’ts regarding CX in the retail industry.
Do Provide an Omnichannel Customer Service
Unlike wholesale, the retail sector is in direct communication and contact with the customer. So, it is important to make the best possible impression with an exceptional customer service. You have to be available to assist customers via multiple channels such as email, phone, social media, etc.
Also, your retail store is an important touchpoint in the buyer’s journey, which involves identifying the brand, getting to know the product, as well as the potential to purchase the product. Combining digital elements to your physical stores such as the ability to preorder and pickup, and add products to the cart and try out them at stores can take customer experience to a whole new level. Sephora is a brand that excels in providing great customer experience with its seamless integration of digital and brick-and-mortar stores.
Do Use a Humanized Selling Voice
Customers have enough and more choices in the market today. The problem is finding a brand that understands them. If you want to ensure customers receive the experience they expect from your brand, you have to avoid underselling as well as overselling your products. Don’t be too persistent and use superfluous marketing tactics to sell your products. At the same time, don’t refrain from communicating with customers believing that the products will sell themselves. Instead, try to make customers feel at ease with a courteous greeting, friendly tone, and casual engagement.
Do Reward Customer Loyalty
Customer experience is all about building a lasting relationship with customers who value your product/service. You have to persuade them to engage in business with you repeatedly by providing privileges that highlight they are special and acknowledged. Designing loyalty programs that offer beneficial discounts, bulk purchase offers, and free products for the number of points earned are some effective methods. Providing access to new, promotional products before they are released is another great way to reinforce positive customer experience. Did you know Starbucks treats its customers with many perks including free coffee?
Don’t Neglect Customer Complaints
Disregarding customer complaints is like a dangerous slippery slope. The more you ignore, the more your brand follows its doom. If you want to provide nothing but the best customer experience, you have to listen to your customers first. Pay heed to their pain points and your retail brand’s shortcomings. It’s one of the most effective ways to improve. It’s always good to have a mechanism for customers to review your service like a feedback platform or even a complaint book. Nike, although a powerful global retailer, pays a lot attention to its customer experience. It has a separate Twitter account just to handle issues customers face.
Don’t Overpromise and Underdeliver
One of the main reasons why customers choose to repeat their purchases with the same brand is trust and reliability. These core values are usually built on promises you give them such as premium quality products, low waiting time, and transparency. What happens when you fail to keep up with your promises is that you appear as a failed brand in the eyes of the customer and lose their trust and loyalty. As a rule of thumb, it’s always crucial to set out promises that are both feasible and achievable.
Don’t Keep Customers Waiting Too Long
We all have experienced long queues building up near cash registers at retail stores. But, have you ever considered what this costs a brand that’s otherwise performing well? In the long-run, customers would think twice before dropping by your store and would consider purchasing at another store. According to a survey, 75% of retailers have noted wait-related issues as a main reason for losing customers.
When it comes to online retail stores, it is possible to keep track of abandoned carts. But it is not the case with a brick-and-mortar retail store, which is what makes this issue more concerning. You have to train your employees to be fast and efficient, offer several payment options for improved convenience, and install multiple cash registers for quicker checkout.
So, if you need your retail brand to shine and make customers fall in love with the customer experience you offer, don’t forget to pay attention to the points mentioned above!
Jaakko is an award-winning CX professional and entrepreneur at Feedbackly, founder and community professional at the biggest entrepreneurial digital community in Finland – Yrittäjä.io. He is a notorious keynote speaker from entrepreneurial stories to day to day human communications and customer experiences.