With more and more consumers turning to online shopping this holiday season, it is especially important that retail stores give a strong customer experience to in store shoppers. While discounts and promotions can give your store a leg up in sales, smartphone technology now allows customers to find products they want on sale with just the click of the button. So in order to improve your company’s bottom line in the long run, you will need to deliver exceptional customer service to shoppers that visit your store. Here are some tips on how to improve your brick and mortar retail store’s customer service:
1) Improve Your Team’s Customer Service Skills
Brush up your employees on the key skills needed to deliver good customer service. These include empathy, patience, adaptability, the ability to stay calm under pressure and the ability to communicate clearly.
2) Ensure Your Employees are Satisfied
Your employees are the face of your store and your company, and if they are unsatisfied with their jobs it will rub off on the customers, who will be less likely to spend time and money in your store. Your employees are what stand between the customer and the product. If your employees are satisfied, well-trained and sure of themselves and their abilities, this will make the customer feel a lot more comfortable. So to improve your retail store’s customer service, make sure your employees receive the right training, education, encouragement, and that their compensation and benefits meet their needs as best as possible.
3) Analyze all touchpoints in the sales process
You want to make sure that not only is good customer service being delivered, but that it is being delivered consistently. Take a look at every person and department customers interact with from the second they set foot in your store to the second they check out. This will allow you to see what interactions are contributing to your company’s bottom line, and what interactions are causing customers to never reach the checkout line. Small interactions can have a huge impact, and you are more likely to be able to suggest changes to improve the retail customer service at every level of your company if you are aware of these small interactions.
4) Get Employees Highly Involved and Engaged
If your employees appear bored or distracted when customers enter your store, they bring down the customer’s level of comfort and excitement they have about the product they are about to purchase. It is your retail sales team’s job to nurture customers through the entire process, until they walk out of the store with product in hand. So make a checklist of certain key interactions that signify good customer service, such as greeting customers, helping them find products, and recommending related items to complement their purchase. The goal is for the customer to walk away with the product they wanted, and an excellent and memorable customer experience.
5) Teach Employees the Satisfaction of Happy Customers
If your employees can learn to derive satisfaction from the beauty of a customer finding and purchasing an item they desired, you are likely to see higher sales in your retail store. Your customers have emotional reasons for why they are looking to purchase the items they want, and if you can provide the right training to allow your employees can engage with them on this emotional level, you will achieve not only better customer service, but more satisfied employees.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.