There has never been a more vital time in retail to engage and create a novel shopping experience for a customer than now. Our retailers today have plenty to overcome with fierce competition, market saturation, and the growth of online shopping. We need to turn our focus from constantly looking outwardly at those things you cannot control and to focus more internally at what you can do to better your business. One of the BEST ways is to improve and make sure customers shopping experience is the BEST it can be and one they won’t forget. It is about creating relationships and physical interaction between you and them. Here are the top five ways to make your customer experience memorable.
1. ENGAGE in conversation- I cannot preach on this enough. A customer feels important when you actually walk to them and introduce yourself as a person. When you simply speak or greet from behind a counter or somewhere in the store they can not see you, they feel unimportant and meaningless. If you walk towards them and ask, “how has your day been” instead of the boring “May I help you” you have won half the battle. You have just given them question they may answer.
2. USE THEIR FIRST NAME– when you and your staff great and use a customer’s first name they feel sooo special. Train your people to try learning 5-10 new customers ‘ names a day, especially the ones you know are your VIPS. If you use a new customers name five times in different sentences you should retain it. Notice I said should, some folks do best if they write it down.
3. SERVE THEM– you can always make an impression if you serve something to a customer. Food and drinks are not just for events. I like to offer them water or a piece of good candy while they shop. Chocolate is always well received, however do not dismiss a good starburst. Children love this and helps distract them a little and allows the mom brief time to peruse. You can always “serve” them too by simply helping them shop. Hold their purse or heavy bags behind the counter
4. SHOW THEM– It is vital that you and your staff genuinely CARE about the customers. Your attitude good or bad comes across in your speech and body language. You and your staff know your product better than anyone. Spend 10-15 seconds showing them your “favorite” new arrivals. You can highlight some great value or sale items too. I say “I have a couple of hidden treasures in this sale rack. Let me show them if you have a second.”
5. CLOSE THE DEAL – The check-out process needs to be the time to shine. The transactions need to be quick, fun, and memorable. It’s the last thing they do before they leave. Wrap, fold, or hang the items with care. Last minute suggestions are crucial to building the units per transaction and sales amount. Most importantly you need to say THANK YOU and mean it. If they spend significant amount of time and money in your store I firmly believe a hand written thank you card is in order. When they receive it it makes a huge impression. One that warrants unsolicited word of mouth reviews!
Samantha has been in the fashion industry for 19 years. Graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Marketing, she started her career as a sales representative in the missy contemporary category. She is now an accomplished business coach with clients throughout the South-Eastern United States.