3 Ways to Increase Customer Happiness
With all the chaos of running a store, too often the core focus of selling to customers gets lost. On top of that, the idea of actually making your customers happy gets lost, as well. It’s with this in mind that I challenge you to make your customers happy again… today and always. And while there are always exceptions (you know who you are), there are far too many retailers that have dismissed happy customers from their priority lists.
Tip 1: Really WANT to Help Your Customers
Ever had one of those days when taking even two minutes to help someone meant slowing you down too much? Well, in retail this happens a lot. For independent retailers in particular, this can be the case when inventory is being re-stocked, merchandise is being displayed, orders are being processed, social media is being updated, new hires are being trained, etc., etc. In other words, you have a lot to do. Yet when a customer walks into your store, everything else should move down your list. Additionally, you should be okay with this. Actually WANTING to help your customers is key here. Consumers can read your energy and identify if you really want to be helping them or not, or if you are just saying hi and hoping they don’t get in your way. What kind of impression do you want to give?
Tip 2: Smile and Don’t Complain
We’ve all had customer service experiences where we can tell – literally, because we’ve been told – that the employee doesn’t want to “be there”. Has this happened in your store? While we’re sure it’s not YOU giving this impression, make sure your employees aren’t, either. Football Sunday? You better hope your employees aren’t telling customers they wish they were watching the game. A slow Monday? Don’t let the pace of the day slow down your employees energy to help the few customers who may come in your store. A late night? Be sure time doesn’t matter whenever the doors are open. In other words, smile and greet customers with open arms no matter what day, time or scenario they are walking into. Make it your store policy to greet customers this way, so there are no excuses for any other way to happen.
Tip 3: Keep Customers Top of Mind
Easier said than done, as we know your to-do-list is long. But if you train your team and your staff that customers come first, you will see the rewards in both repeat visits and sales. Customers want to shop where they feel appreciated – even more so at specialty and independent retailers than big box stores – so make sure this is how they feel when in your store. Smile and welcome them to stop in and say hi – even if they know they aren’t making a purchase that day. Listen to them tell you about their day and hear what it is they may be in the market for before you try selling them something they don’t need or want. Share with them store news and friendly news about you. You’re part of this business after all. And while there is a fine line between too much “you” and just enough, remember that your personality is a big part of your store success.
Customers have so many choices when it comes to shopping, so making them want to come to your store versus another should always be on your agenda list. And really, when you think about it, aren’t customers the heart beat to your business? Inventory may make up your store and you certainly do all the hard work… but without them, would you even have a store? Just something to think about as you choose your next actions as a customer walks into your store.