Ways Independent Retailers Can Create An Awesome Customer Experience
For independent retailers, an awesome product doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. You have to make your location a destination for consumers by way of customer service and overall customer experience. But how do you get the word out, create ambiance, develop your brand as well as listen to customer input? Here are some tips and tricks to make your business the most customer-friendly on the market.
Let Customers Help Themselves
Most consumers will visit a website and look for the answers they need before they call or email. Make the information customers want readily available on your website, as well as all social media platforms you use. A Frequently Asked Questions section of your website is also a good idea, as it will save you and your customer time. According to Forrester, 67 percent of consumers use self-service knowledge bases to answer their questions. Without a FAQ page, you may spend much of your time answering the same emailed questions. Go above and beyond for your customer base and provide a forum page on your website where customers can talk to each other and ask questions. Keep forum members responsible by requiring your website administrator to approve all threads and comments.
Michael Lowenstein, CMC of Beyond Philosophy, an international customer experience consultancy, believes employees are the key to the customer experience. Employees who are committed, know and believe in the company’s mission, are more likely to provide a customer experience that fulfills both parties. Happy employees make good employees, it’s that simple. Keep your employees pleased so they can provide the customer experience you’ve always hoped for.
Availability is key. Don’t avoid your customers. Provide easy ways for your customer base to contact you. Whether this is through social media, email or a phone number, make sure you address customer concerns and questions in a timely manner. Make your business more available with a toll-free 800 number. For your customer base, an 800 number shows you and your business is available to serve their every need.
Curate Your Space
Now that your employees are on board, your customers know your availability and you have a strong product, it’s time to curate your retail space. As a retailer, you sell an image. Consumers see themselves in your products. Your space, be it physical or digital, should evoke emotion in your customers. Tell a story in your space. The story should reflect you, and your customers, as well as the story of your business. If customers identify with your story, they’re more likely to remain loyal.
Show off your broad worldview. We live in a world filled with many cultures and traditions. Build displays that showcase you as part of a larger, global community. Draw connections and collaborate with people within this community. Customers who enjoy your products will feel this connection through your brand.
Always provide customers a reason to look a second (or third) time. A great curator is detail-oriented. They create a space where customers will always find something new to experience. The cleverest and smallest touches of your space are the way your story, and by extension, your customers’ story, is most eloquently told.
Photo Credit: Image provided by Social Monsters with permission to use.