While the popular belief is that in-store shopping is coming to an end, the truth could not be more different. There is no doubt that online shopping is gaining immense popularity with consumers since it offers them convenience. However, many people still prefer visiting a store and seeing a product physically before making a purchase decision. According to PwC’s annual consumer survey, 40 percent of consumers make purchases once a week in a store as compared to 27 percent who do the same online. A consumer survey conducted by TechCrunch revealed that 78% of the consumers want to shop in a store and are likely to spend more than they intended.
Considering this, there is an immediate need for improving the customer experience provided in stores. Customer care is a process which starts from the moment a client walks in to your store. Make sure the client leaves satisfied.
It is essential to create an atmosphere around the store which would lure your customers in. Creating themes always stirs the interest of customers. The Converse Store in San Francisco for example made a chandelier out of shoes which is a unique idea to attract customers. Nordstrom is another store known for its brilliant interior. Creating the right ambiance is important for enhancing the shopping experience of your customers. An attractive window display is the first element which catches the attention of the customer and makes them want to look around your store. Putting up sales banners also attracts customers.
Product Categorization and Store Design
The worst thing that can happen in a store is for a customer to be absolutely lost. It is vital that all the aisles are marked properly so that customers can easily find their way around. Make sure your employees are well-trained and that your store is designed in a systematic way. It would be ideal to categorize products and place the related items in close proximity. It makes little sense to a customer to have to walk past the entire store to find something. Not only will it irritate your customers, you will also create the impression of being unorganized. The store should be designed in a simplistic manner where everything is sorted by its type so that people can easily access the things they want instead of roaming around. It is also necessary that your store is well stocked. If your store claims to have something, customers will be annoyed to find the item being out of stock.
Friendly Staff with the Right Attitude
Customer service is all about the individual experience you offer to your customer and it has to be the best. It is important to have staff which understands the needs of the customers. As soon as a customer walks in, he/she should be greeted warmly. Guide him/her if there is a product inquiry but, there is no need to hover around the customers while they shop. The CSR needs to determine which customer requires assistance in decision making and who would prefer to be left alone.
Making sure that the customer gets the best service in the store should be the goal of every sales representative. There is a need to improve the customer service experience of anyone who comes to the store, whether they are there to inquire about a product, return it or just to visit.
Deliver Unmatched Service Experience
Customer service is one of the factors that makes customers return to stores. You might offer the best deals, have a brilliant interior and a vast range of products but if your customer service is not up to the mark, your customers won’t be a hundred percent satisfied with the experience. Let us take the example of exemplary service from the Nordstorm staff. A customer was seen by a security officer in the store, crawling on the floor. When he inquired what she was looking for, he found out that one of the diamonds from her wedding ring had fallen out. Not only did he start looking for it with her but also recruited a team of people. After searching for a very long time, the team was able to find the diamond and gave it back to the lady. This is the kind of customer service which wins customers.
Customers simply want to make sure that you are providing them with the service they deserve and doing anything extra for them would make them loyal to your brand.
Little things can show your customers that you care, like constructing a play area for kids in your store would greatly help parents who want to shop without worrying about their children. Two or three employees can keep an eye on the kids while the parents shop. This adds to the convenience of customers as they would be more relaxed while shopping.
Flexible Return Policy
Having a simple return policy would not only make the customers happy but it would also build a sense of loyalty as they would want to come back to you. Many customers abandon shopping with a store that does not have a return and exchange policy. Showing flexibility in returning or exchanging goods is an important element towards enhancing the experience your store offers.
Many small elements combine together to build the customer service experience. It is now more important than ever before, that your customers feel valued and satisfied by the kind of service you are providing. Make sure you and your representatives are well aware of the concept of customer service and apply it every time a customer walks into your store.