Unlock the Power of Great Customer Service: Tips Retailers Shouldn't Overlook
According to research, customer-centric companies are 60 percent more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.
In today's competitive retail landscape, customer service is more important than ever. With the proliferation of e-commerce and easy access to customer reviews, businesses that don’t prioritize exceptional customer service are quickly left behind. The most successful retailers understand that providing a positive customer experience isn’t just an option — it’s a necessity.
Yet in our digital age, some of the most basic principles of excellent customer service can go overlooked. Too often we find staff members inattentive to their customers’ needs or failing to truly understand how all-important great customer service really is. To ensure your business stands out above the competition, make sure you use these simple tips for superior customer service.
Craft an Exceptional and Unforgettable In-Person Shopping Experience
With the convenience of e-commerce sites and subscription services, consumers have many options when deciding where to spend their time and money. To remain competitive in this space, retailers need to give customers compelling reasons to visit their store.
One way to do this is by fostering a sense of community within the store by hosting special events for customers and/or members of the local community. These events could include new gear demos, workshops where people can learn new skills or techniques, or even something as simple as offering complimentary drinks and snacks. These types of events create an environment that encourages socialization which increases the likelihood that people will return to your store in the future.
When it comes to in-store shopping, we can’t forget about mobile. Mobile devices have become an integral part of the in-store shopping experience. Through their smartphones, shoppers can access additional product information at their fingertips. Customers can also take advantage of app-based incentives such as discounts or rewards for making purchases in-store. Mobile payment solutions have also made it even easier for customers to pay without having to wait in line.
Celebrate Special Occasions in the Customer’s Life
You can also take customer appreciation to the next level by recognizing their loyalty. Offer exclusive discounts, VIP access to new products or services, and other special perks for long-term customers who have consistently purchased from your company. Consider setting up a referral program that rewards both new and existing customers with discounts or other incentives when they refer someone else to your business. This can easily be done if using a comprehensive point-of-sale (POS) system to keep track of customer information.
It’s important to make sure customers feel appreciated to keep them coming back. Whether it’s a personalized thank-you note after each purchase, birthday cards, anniversary emails or loyalty discounts, showing genuine care for each customer will help retain them as loyal shoppers of your brand.
Stay Connected and Follow Up
This may seem like an obvious one, but when the business gets busy, it can be the one thing that falls off the “to do” list. Connecting with customers after they've made a purchase is an important part of customer service. Not only does it help build credibility, add value to the product or service purchased, and create opportunities for future sales and referrals, it also provides an opportunity for your brand to ensure that the customer was satisfied with the product or service.
Creating a successful follow-up strategy can help ensure customers are pleased with their purchase and foster loyalty by creating a positive and memorable experience. Follow-up strategies can range from sending thank-you notes, calling or emailing customers to check in on their satisfaction, providing additional helpful information related to their purchase, offering discounts on future purchases, and more. Following up also presents an opportunity to ask for feedback about the overall customer experience. Again, this can all be done automatically through a modern POS system.
Customer service should be at the top of your priority list when running a retail store. Live customer experiences can create lasting connections and give shoppers something to remember. Special occasions are important to recognize as it's an aspect of feeling appreciated by the business. And finally, don't forget about customer follow-ups. They can keep customers coming back time and time again.
All in all, these tips can take an ordinary experience and turn it into a positive, memorable one that customers will spread good word about resulting in more business. According to Deloitte, customers who have a positive experience are 140 percent more likely to spend than those who have a poor experience. These are just a few tips to remember when making sure customer service for a retail store is top notch.
Taylor Harnois is the general manager of Music Shop 360, an all-in-one, cloud-based retail point-of-sale (POS) solution for modern music retailers.
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Taylor Harnois is the General Manager of Music Shop 360 – the leading all-in-one, cloud-based retail point-of-sale (POS) solution for modern music retailers – where he oversees all aspects of the Music Shop 360 brand, including sales and marketing, customer experience and support, and product and development. Taylor has been with Music Shop 360 for six years in various capacities. Prior to his time at Music Shop 360, Taylor spent many years in the retail and education industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a Master’s degree in Business Leadership.