Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
You could have the most incredible business idea, an impressive product, and the best intentions too, but if you have no idea what your customers want, then you’re more than likely going to fail. As harsh as that may sound, it’s very true. Because the business world is all about customers and what they want. Your produce should meet a need that your target audience has. If it doesn’t, they’re not going to buy from you. And without sales, you won’t succeed. So, this gives you a very reason not only to get to know your customers but start surpassing their expectations too. And to do the latter, you’re going to want to ace the former first.
But getting to know your customers is just the first step. When you know who they are, and what they might be looking for when they shop with you, you then need to wow them. Because, as we mentioned earlier, your amazing product isn’t going to cut it if your service sucks! So, you need to start thinking about creating an incredible customer experience and putting on one hell of a show! But you’re not in it alone; we’re going to walk through this together. Covering off just about everything you could need to shower your customers with the best experiences ever!
Creating a great experience in your store is what your main should be. Because you want to make sales, and to do that, you have to not only lure potential customers in, but keep them coming back too.
This first point can be thought of in two ways. And if you want to ensure that your customers are hooked, you should look to cover them off. The first is the imagery that you’re using in store, along with the colors and the general look your store has; your customers should be drawn to it all. But secondly, you need to nail your visual merchandising too. Your customer should be excited by your product layouts.
Easy To Shop Layouts
From your merchandising to the store layout itself, you need to make sure that it’s easy. You want your customers to not only be lured in by your stock, but also find your store easy to shop. They need to be able to find items quickly and easily, but also locate their way around your store without any kind of hassle. Then, you know their experience will be good.
But don’t just leave it there. You should want to make their experience great. And to do that, things need to get exciting. To make it happen, you should look to work with experiential marketing. You’ll find loads of incredible examples of what other stores has done, but in general, you need to be focusing on fun in-store experiences and connecting to the online world to really impress.
Now we need to look at what you can offer with your online setup. If you’re online-only, this is going to be super important. If you’re offline too, then this needs to support what your store offers too.
To improve their online experience, you need to get to know it. While this can feel a little harder with your store, it’s much easier online. You can look at the customer journey in your analytics to see how they shop and use your site in general. Your data and research will then let you know how you can improve the onsite experience for them and stop them from dropping off before they buy.
Whether you have an online store alone, or it’s secondary to your physical store, you’re going to want to offer some incentives. Think about what you want when you’re shopping online. You want to be enticed into buying, right? So think about how you can increase your average order value (AOV) with free shipping, or offer a free gift with purchase – because they may be what you need here.
Ease & Efficiency
Above all else, shopping on your website needs to be easy and efficient. No buts! Your customers need to find the experience of buying from you hassle free and enjoyable. If they don’t, you’re not going to keep them. It’s simple. So work with an easy layout, simple search options, and a streamlined checkout, and you’ll be fine.
Of course, customer service is always going to be a huge part of the customer experience; it needs to cover everything from their potential consideration to their aftercare.
Evaluating What You Have
It’s not always easy to know how you’re doing with your customer service. Of course, if you get complaints, then you get an idea. But if you don’t, is it safe to assume that you’re doing okay? Not necessarily. You may want to turn to mystery shoppers to find out exactly how you’re getting on. You can then see where you are at the moment and evaluate your service to then improve on it.
Asking For Feedback
At the same time, you should definitely think about asking for feedback from your customers too. Putting comment cards out on your cash desk, putting forms online, sending out surveys, and generally speaking to your customers in-store and asking how they find things will help. And you’ll often get invaluable and honest responses that you can work with too.
Going Above & Beyond
Finally, you’re going to want to think about going above and beyond with your customer service too. You want your customers to have such a good experience, that they love to shop with you and think of your store first above any other. Nice touches with your packaging, being helpful, and generally trying to make their shopping experience better will go along way to keep your customers coming back.
A huge part of the customer experience is repeat custom. Because if the experience they have is good, they will come back. To help this, you can work on a loyalty program.
To create any kind of loyalty program, you need to work with a good customer relationship management (CRM) setup. And for this, you need the right CRM software in place. Then, you will be able to record customer information, keep their details on file and personalize their experience too. The first two points are important for your loyalty program, and the latter is something that will help you to improve the kind of experience they have when they shop with you.
Next up, think about pulling together your loyalty program. If you have a store, then a card will be perfect. But if you’re entirely online, you need to plug this into your e-commerce as no physical card will be required. You can allow your customers to collect points as they shop, or stamps. Then, when they have collected so many points or stamps, they can then spend them in store or get money off a purchase. This will make your customers want to keep spending with you.
As part of your loyalty program, to ensure that your customers are enjoying their experience, you should look to provide them with member-only offers. This comes with a level of exclusivity that can make them feel special as they shop. From member’s only shopping experiences and discounts to exclusive access to sales, these will always wow your customers as they shop.
And then there are the kind of things you can think about working with just to enhance the customer experience – they can also be a lot of fun to work on too!
Have you ever been to an in-store event? If you have, then you’re going to know just how fun they can be. Whether it’s a talk with the founder, a visiting celebrity, or a discounted shopping evening fueled by champagne, there’s a lot of excitement on offer whenever an event takes place. So if you want your customers to enjoy shopping with you, be sure to work some events into your yearly calendar. They can be a chance for you and your staff to have a little fun too!
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Next up, you’re going to want to make a bit of a fuss over some special occasions. And this is where your CRM system comes into play once again. Send out gifts or special discounts on your customer’s birthdays – or even send them a card. They’ll feel special and love the gesture. You could also have celebrations and discounts when it’s your store’s anniversary for a bit of fun too.
Finally, why not think about hosting different discount offers, just because? Sometimes, you don’t need an excuse to host a special event. Your customers may love the fact that you reward them with a little discount every now and again throughout the year and it’s certainly going to help your sales. Because we all love to have a treat, and it will always add to the customer experience.