What is the biggest impact on the success of retail? Is it the staff? The relationships? The marketing? No. It is the customer. The bearing a customer has on the success or failure of a retail company covers many different factors. The relationship between a customer and business is what will entice someone to spend. In marketing, the idea of semiotics is about using signs to convey a business image to a customer, so the customer feels some sort of affinity and is persuaded to buy. In the contact center environment, the speedy resolution of a problem with the customer is what will turn them around. The customer is the focal point. The customer is always right, of course. But what can you do to ensure that they need never bring up that dreaded statement?
Improve Contact Methods
The independent shops and home-run businesses that we see today are a dying breed. Going into an old antique shop where we see the proprietor not doing anything but listening to the radio and struggling on their crossword doesn’t fill a customer with much confidence, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they won’t have a website! Having the complete package in terms of tech and contact will help to develop the rapport, and make sure that you are in the customer’s thoughts. Increasing the ways you can contact them, such as social media, email, and text marketing, is one step of the process, but also having the customer able to contact you on many platforms is just as important. A phone number at the bottom of the website does not cut it these days. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: the holy trinity. Abide by them.
Streamlining Your Business Processes
A very important term normally attributed to cutting down on unnecessary methods, but by breaking down your own processes and simplifying them has a direct bearing on the customer. Having a computerized system is the norm now, and by making payment processes easier for the customer, you are giving a speedy service and increasing the chance of their return. It also works behind the scenes too, having a Hand Held Scanner to do a stock take instead of paper and pen streamlines the business process because of the speed in which a stock take can be completed when compared to a paper and pen process. Systems are there to make our jobs easier in retail, so let’s make the most of them.
Ah yes, the most important two words you will ever hear in any organization. This is something that can stem from the phone calls, all the way through to care and attention on a personal level. A customer will always remember how they felt, it’s human nature. Irrespective of the item they bought, if they were made to feel uncared for, it’s unlikely they will set foot in the store again. So invest in training for your staff, or walk a mile in their shoes. We’ve all had bad customer experiences, so work on reducing them for your own business.