The importance of positive customer experiences in retail can’t be overstated. A focus on satisfied customers should be the primary focus of any business strategy, as it is one of the most crucial elements of any successful store. Your customers’ experience in your store and their relationship with your brand has a direct impact on revenue and long-term success. With the amount of competition online and on the high street, it’s vital that your brand stands out for all the right reasons.
There are a few simple things you can do to enhance the customer experience in your store. We’ve listed a few easy-to-implement strategies to try.
Why is customer experience important for a business?
First, it’s important to understand why customer experience is so important. To put it simply, customer experience has a huge impact on whether or not you build a loyal customer base. If a customer has a positive experience in your store, they’re far more likely to return to make repeated purchases, try different products and recommend your store to others.
Customer retention is a vital aspect of retail. Did you know loyal customers are proven to purchase and spend more? One study showed that there’s a 60 - 70% likelihood of selling to an existing customer, while this can be as low as 5% for new customers. Positive customer experience is key to securing these returning customers which, in turn, boosts revenue.
A negative experience can do just the opposite, which is why it’s crucial for businesses to ensure customers have a positive experience with your brand.
How to improve customer experience
Because customer experience is so important, it’s vital to have a clear customer experience strategy in place to ensure your business is getting it right. There are a few key ways you can enhance the customer experience within your store – here are some ideas to keep in mind.
1. Deliver excellent customer service
There’s more to a customer experience than the service they’re given, but it goes a long way. To deliver excellent customer service, you need to:
- Hire friendly and approachable staff members – Good communication skills are crucial in customer service. Encourage your staff to go the extra mile for customers and create a memorable experience for all the right reasons.
- Train staff well about your products and services – Ensuring your staff members are confident in answering questions and recommending products will instil confidence in your customers about your brand.
In person, customer service leaves a lasting impression, but this applies to outside of your brick and mortar stores too. From phone calls to online support teams, every interaction with your customers should leave them feeling valued and respected.
2. Seek customer feedback
What better way to know what your customers value than by asking them? Give your customers opportunities to tell you about their experience in your store, and take this on board. If you receive any negative feedback, you know which areas you need to improve on.
Also, take note of the positive feedback, so you know what you excel in and how you can enhance customer experiences further. Not only will this give you valuable feedback, but asking your customers their opinion will make them feel valued too.
3. Show customer reviews and testimonials
Customers are more likely to trust your brand if you’re transparent. Many people look to reviews and customer testimonials to do their research about a brand before shopping with them – in fact, in 2020, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Ensuring you have visible positive reviews online is one great way to build trust and enhance customer experience at the awareness stage of their journey before they’ve even entered your store.
4. Optimise store layout & aesthetics
The look and feel of your store is another major factor in enhancing customer experience. In terms of layout, you need to ensure that your customers can find what they are looking for easily and that their in-store journey runs smoothly from path to purchase.
Are the shelves well-stocked and clearly priced? Does your store have clear signage? Is your visual merchandising being put to good use? These are all factors that can impact a customer’s experience in your store.
5. Show your appreciation
Another great way to enhance customer experience is by showing your customers that they’re valued. This can come in many forms, including:
- A points card or rewards programme.
- Early access to deals for customers on your emailing list.
- Discount after certain spending thresholds.
- Freebies and birthday treats.
These are all great incentives for your customers to return to your store. Not only will this help with customer retention and loyalty, but it will also encourage word of mouth referrals to your store.
Knowing how to improve customer experience is key to running a successful business. Follow these tips and you can ensure you’re building positive relationships with your customers, encouraging loyalty and maximising the likelihood of repeat business. Currently, it’s more important than ever to make your store feel like a safe place to be. To make your customers feel as comfortable as possible when visiting, shop our range of social distancing and hygiene equipment here at Displaysense.