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5 tested ways to enhance customer experience in retail stores

It is typically important to now define the process of how one can take the whole retail journey to a new level when it comes to understanding the needs of your customer.

Tags: Retail, Consumer Experience, Online Shopping, Technology, Retail Branding

BY Sunil Munshi  |  Jun 14, 2016  |  comments ( 0 )  | 
Retail

Globally, digital technology is at the helm of fast evolving customer approach towards the retail stores. In this age, where everything around us is moving online, it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep up with the newer and much evolved approach of customers towards retail stores. The customers are the new proprieters who would change their loyalties without any hesitation. It is typically important to now define the process of how one can elevate the whole retail journey to the next level when it comes to understanding the needs of your customer. To bring in a differentiator and strong brand connect in a retail store environment, customer experience plays a very dominant role.

The retail store atmosphere plays an irreplaceable role in today’s technology-driven world. Customers develop associations with brands using a variety of maneuvers and networks, but the brick-and-mortar store adds the component of in-person interaction, where your associates epitomize the face and voice of your company. The surveys provide customer insights about the retail store experience thereby helping your company perform in the eyes of the consumer and alongside making customer-focused improvements. Retail store experience then are not linear in dimension. They are influenced by other factors too. Let us look at some them.

Effective engagement

A lot of times, store managers think bombarding the customers with new discount schemes can earn them their attention, let me give you an alternate thought that you could ponder about. Discount offers will only be counter-productive if the whole experience has been below the average mark. The question is - how do we ensure a great buying experience for our customers? The truth is - there can be no replacement to a self-motivated, trained resource. Trained sales representatives will have knowledge and experience riding by their side, these two key traits if applied properly will be enough to get customers on board. Effective engagement is seldom about getting in more interested buyers, it is more about how well you can position your brand in the current market.

Be the consultant

To bring in an enhanced customer experience, sales promoters need to act like buddies and facilitators for clients in order to enable them to take informed decisions. Here story-telling and consultative approach plays an important role rather than following a tactful conventional approach in terms of luring the customers with lot of discounts and typical sales push.  Innovative training content and delivery mechanisms are being used nowadays to educate and prepare the sales people to face a customer in a very competitive store environment and hence bring in a unique customer experience. Buying experience gets enhanced through a consultative selling methodology leading to increased customer satisfaction and experience.   

Behaviour lies in the eye of the beholder

It essentially boils down to quality experience which adds to customer satisfaction. The buying cycle for a consumer is short and swift; hence it is crucial for sales representatives quantify their impact on customer satisfaction and build strong customer relationships. Adding tactical questions aid this process. Asking the customer whether they were greeted or assisted well goes a long way with them. It is then no surprise that customer loyalty towards a particular brand /product / store is dependent on the store-buying-experience. However, it should be understood that small gestures like smiling, greeting and not hovering around a buyer in the store also make a paramount difference to your business. Not to forget the importance of being well-groomed and presentable.

In-store customer experience like never before

Ever thought why a certain e-commerce organisation is investing a large chunk of its manpower or resources on building a brand store on their website? That is primarily because you won’t buy something that doesn’t really look nice.  Technology is changing landscapes every day, and a little bit of ‘out of the box’ thinking can certainly earn you some brownie points. Evolve in the traditional visual merchandising options and get experimental with the world of new media. Remember, innovation has never let anyone down.

Understand-Learn-Implement

We have all filled up feedback forms at some point in life for stores and restaurants. The idea to have one in place theoretically is to improvise and serve better. But how many of us are actually mobilising these forms to achieve better results? It is now becoming crucial to stay aligned with our consumers now. The good old economics value, where demand is equal to supply will only start making sense once you study and implement the pulse of your buyer. The only way to do this perfectly is by understanding the needs of your consumer, learn the right way to do it and finally bell the cat by ensuring absolute retail hygiene.

Customer experience in Retail then is an on-going effort, which requires innovation and technological intervention in the present age. We are all a part of a very mature market, where good customer experience is directly proportionate to brand loyalty. Retail hygiene can be as simple as implementing the right branding material across the store or ensuring that your staff is wearing clean uniforms or at the least engaged and involved with each customer that walks into the store. The key here is to keep the basics straight and deliver quality. Whether it is brick-and-motor or virtual, customer satisfaction is ruling the roost.

The articel has been authored by  Mr. Sunil Munshi, India- CEO, Denave.

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