Delivering a Great Customer Experience Every Time
-- GUEST POST --
During the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have taken a hit. This is especially true for businesses that rely on delivering products or services in physical spaces such as shops, cafes, restaurant, barbers and beauty salons.
With people being restricted to their homes, we have seen a huge rise in the purchasing of products and services which can be delivered via online shopping. Although eCommerce is certainly here to stay, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those who deliver their offering in person are doomed.
However, it is unlikely that those with a physical premise will ever be able to compete on convenience and price alone, especially when compared to the swift delivery and competitive pricing of online shopping. Instead, these businesses must deliver a great customer experience to encourage consumers to pick a visit over shopping online.
In this guide, we give you 6 powerful ways to improve your customer experience.
Create a Great Atmosphere
Atmosphere is everything when it comes to creating a great customer experience. By working on developing a positive, friendly vibe to your business customers will be encouraged to visit.
The impact of atmosphere can be seen by studying any popular café. You can now buy brew at home coffee which is arguably just as high quality as what you can purchase from most cafes. Although convenience plays a part, arguably, the reason why people are willing to spend 2-3 times the amount on coffee from a café is due to the atmosphere it offers.
Creating a good atmosphere doesn't necessarily mean you need to invest heavily in a complete refit. Just a few small adjustments can make your premises a much nicer place to be, for example, you could:
Introduce more regular cleaning
Play music at a low level
Look after your staff and train them to help them be more welcoming and friendly
Experiment with lighting at different brightness’s and levels
Put more thought into creating displays
Speed up the Process
One of the big benefits of online shopping is the lack of friction. When consumers visit sites like Amazon, it takes just a couple of clicks and they are safe in the knowledge that their purchase is on the way to them.
Speeding up the process can help you appeal to customers, especially those who are short on time. Of course, this doesn’t mean that every customer needs to be filtered through at lightning speed, as many of them will probably want to browse and spend some time. But by giving them the option of a speed experience, they know they won’t be wasting time trying to fulfil their needs when they do business with you.
A few things you can do to help reduce friction during the buying process include:
Use clear signs throughout the store so customers can find the products they are looking for
Ensure that enough staff are always on duty and ready to help
Make checkout areas clear and visible
Include product information near products to limit the need for staff support
Develop a Better Team
Proactive, knowledgeable and friendly staff are one of the very best tools for creating a brilliant customer experience. Simply hiring people and hoping they will be great at their job, just because you are paying them, is a bad strategy.
Business owners should take a proactive approach to develop better staff. It should start during the hiring process. Although staff don’t necessarily need endless knowledge and experience to do their job, they do need a good personality and willingness to learn.
Training your staff can help ensure they know how to approach and talk to customers, as well as providing them with the knowledge they need to answer their questions fully. Training can also help your staff feel valued, motivating them to do better in their roles.
It is important to treat your staff well. Even if you cannot afford to pay them more, showing signs that you appreciate their hard work will impact their attitude, which in turn will help create a better customer experience.
Collect & Act on Feedback
It is easy to only focus on the areas of your business that you believe needs improving. But when it comes to customer experience, no one can offer you better advice than your customers themselves.
Collecting feedback from customers on their experience can be as easy as asking them to fill out a short questionnaire or simply asking them for their thoughts. It is important to record your findings and find ways to make improvements. Collecting further feedback on the changes you make can be a good way to measure their success.
Communicate Your Values
What is your business all about?
If you answer something like ‘selling X product’ or ‘making money’, it could be a good idea to reassess why you do what you do.
Not every business needs a huge, sweeping vision statement about changing the world. But having a clear idea of the value you bring to the table and what you are ultimately trying to achieve not only motivates your team and sets direction but also helps your customers buy into what you on a level beyond fulfilling their needs.
For example, a café might decide that they value quality, organic produce. Their mission might be to educate the people of their local area on the benefits of buying organic. Communicating these values and mission will resonate with those who already see organic food as a positive way to support their health and the environment.
Communicating your values will also help set customer expectations. Take for example the café we mention above. As this business has values surrounding quality products, customers might expect to pay a little more. Another business that communicates values around value for money would be expected to be lower on the price scale.
Too many businesses focus on getting new customers through the door, this often leads to loyal customers being locked out of deals such as discounts on your first order.
But statistics show that loyal customers are much cheaper to sell to, but only if you can keep them loyal. In fact, it is suggested that selling to a new customer can cost 5 times as much as selling to already loyal customers.
Rewarding loyal customers is easy and may include:
Offering them exclusive discounts
Running events specifically for them
Offering them early access to new products
Giving them gifts/freebies
Great Customer Experience
It isn't that difficult to start improving your customers' experience. But failure to take action could see your business fall behind the new age of super-convenient online shopping. Use the tips we have outlined in this guide to create a better customer experience
Red17 are the UK’s leading online supplier of sign, print and display products. The team at Red17 have extensive experience in helping businesses leverage signs to increase efficiency and promote themselves in a way that grabs customer attention in the right way, at the right time.