Running any business should be all about the customer, but this applies in particular to the retail sector. For retail businesses, the importance of keeping the customer happy is paramount. One of the reasons for this is the prevalence of face-to-face interaction with the client. It is no wonder that so many retail businesses follow the age-old adage: ‘the customer is always right’. This is, to be sure, a decent piece of advice to keep in mind. But keeping the customer happy stretches far beyond that. There are all sorts of different ways to keep them happy, and keep them coming back. Let’s have a look at some of the ways we can keep them smiling.
Make Promises (And Keep Them)
There is no faster way to see the back of a customer forever than by failing to deliver. With new and loyal customers alike, it is imperative that whatever promises that you make to them – that you follow through and keep them. The customer needs to know that they can rely on your company in the future. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a moment. If a company tells you one thing and delivers another, are you satisfied? Of course not. Keep up your promises and they will be sure to tell everyone they know. Fail to keep them, and the same applies! It seems simple but a lot of companies fail in this simple area.
Reduce Waiting Time
When it comes to the front-line customer interaction, there are so many ways that you can delight the customer. Again and again, consumers complain of the same few things. A big gripe for enormous swathes of the population is waiting time. Nobody wants to wait in a queue for any length of time, so ensure that you are initiating solutions to deal with that particular problem. This issue can be fought from a number of directions. Firstly, ensure you have enough staff on at any one time. Also, train those staff members properly to make sure they don’t waste your customers’ time. They are ambassadors for your brand, after all. Use advanced ID scanners so that your customers don’t have to wait for ID to be checked. All these little things really help.
It used to be that loyalty schemes were few and far between. In fact, they were considered an unnecessary frivolity. Now, however, customers expect to be rewarded for their loyalty. And any business person worth their salt is likely to agree with this viewpoint. However, it isn’t just about the loyalty card itself. Rewarding loyalty stretches far beyond that. It is in the little details as well, such as being recognized and appreciated. All customers love to feel valued, so give them what they want. Smile when they enter the shop, and mean it.
Customers like to know that you care about their opinion. That is why it’s so important that you give your customers plenty of opportunity for providing feedback. Once you have that feedback – act on it! There are few more effective means of pleasing people than putting their own ideas into action. Let them know their opinion means something, and they will soon become loyal customers for life.
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