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Connecting With Your Customers

Connecting with your customers takes more than implementing a one time strategy put in place years ago. It constantly needs review, updating and lots of TLC. The retail marketplace is saturated with options for consumers, so finding ways to connect to your customer is essential in supporting your unique business.

Social media, networking groups, special events, business to business marketing and traditional sales all open the door to connecting with your customer. But once that door is open, what do you do to actually connect? The tips below can help you in engaging customers, captivating their attention and increasing your sales.

1. Improve on your current customer service methods. Think beyond the simple “Hello, how may we help you?” and instead become someone who listens, cares and responds to each individual customer and their specific needs. Are their hands filled with heavy shopping bags from other stores? Offer a place for them to  set their bags down so they can shop your store more comfortably. Is it a hot day outside? Provide small bottles of water to customers –  complimentary, of course. Did you just learn they are shopping for an unexpected loss, such as a funeral? Provide them a discount to help ease the burdens of their pain. 10, 15, or 20% isn’t a ton, but actions speak louder than words. It’s the gesture that counts here! Whatever your current customer service standards are, take them up a few notches. And make sure ALL your employees are trained to accommodate these new expectations.

2. Revamp your shopping environment. Consider if your store screams “easy to move in” or “too tight to walk around”. Are your fixtures intimidating or do customers comfortably reach and touch items in your store? Your goal should be to offer a place consumers want to experience, feel comfortable being in and ultimately feel connected to. Combined with other customer service strategies, sales are near certain to increase.

3. Say “thanks” the good, old fashioned way. Every one loves a handwritten thank you, so offer one. If your store collects contact details from customers, this is a great way to follow up after a sale is made and connect again with your customer. A simple thank you note, even in the form of postcard, offers a nice touch of personal connection between you and your customer. While an incentive to come back again is always nice – such as 20% off your next purchase coupon – the act of saying thanks alone is what really counts here. Be sincere, though. After all, you are thankful, aren’t you?

At the end of the day, your actions speak just as loud as the products in your store. Together, they greatly enhance customer experiences and customer retention. It’s time to connect them both so that together they can connect with customers.

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