Customer service can either make or break your retail business, it’s simple! A happy customer will keep coming back and will also bring in more customers. But a disheartened customer will never come back and will discourage others to shop from your store. A study reveals that US companies lose approximately $62 billion annually due to the poor customer experience.
As you can see, customer service is one of the core aspects of the retail business. You must work on improving customer experience if you want to grow your business by leaps and bounds.
Essentials to elevate retail customer service to another level
• A Customer is more than Just a Sale
If you have a perception that a customer is solely influenced by the product, you are wrong. A customer demands recognition, respect, and appreciation. You should talk about the customer’s preferences, listen to their experiences, give genuine & valuable suggestions, and so on. When you are able to deliver these attributes, you can expect customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Focus on personalization to build a long-lasting relationship with the customer. Once you develop a relation, you can expect the customer to return. Further, personalization increases chances of upsells and cross-sells, ultimately increasing overall sales.
• Take Care of your Employees
Your employees are the face of your retail business. You must invest time and resources for their overall development. If your employees are happy, they will surely keep customers happy. For this purpose, you need to connect with your employees. Communicate with your employees, listen to their problems, empathize with them, give them respect, celebrate their anniversaries, let them have an occasional break, and do whatever keeps their moral high.
Invest in retail customer service training so that the employees know the knacks of customer management. The training should focus on the art of selling, analyzing customer behavior, adopting a suitable approach based on a particular situation, and personalizing with the customers.
• Have a Smile on your Face
A smile can do wonders when it comes retail customer experience. A smile is more than just an expression. It can break communication barriers, convey a person’s state of mind, and alter the ambiance of a place. Therefore, most of the retail businesses ask their employees to be cheerful. It’s a human tendency getting attracted to a person with a welcoming smile on face.
In the retail business, customers are willing to communicate with enthusiastic salespersons. They tend to share their preferences, ask for suggestions, and finally, walk out with at least a purchase from the retail store.
• Be Welcoming and Communicative
Besides greeting them with a smile, you should work on gestures and body language. A lethargic, uninterested approach will definitely hamper customer engagement, resulting in loss of sales, values, and customers. On the other hand, an energetic salesperson will be able to connect in a better way.
Maintaining eye contact, using body gestures, being an active listener, and initiating a conversation; these qualities are necessary for rendering seamless retail customer service. Offering welcome drinks and free goodies also assist in winning appreciations and gaining the trust of the customer.
• Work on Seamless Checkout Experience
Do you know that approximately 50 percent of customers will avoid shopping from a store if the checkout time exceeds five minutes? This clearly conveys that you must work on optimizing checkout process to ensure excellent retail customer service. Installing a POS billing software solves a majority of the problems associated with checkout experience.
A POS system offers multiple modes of payments, such as credit & debit cards, net banking, digital wallets, NFC-enabled payment solutions, and more. A customer doesn’t need to wait to pay the bill. With the assistance of POS software, payments can be done within a few seconds. And instead of a printed receipt, customers can opt for an e-receipt, available via email and message.
• Invest in Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs work as a magnet in bringing customers to the store. Whether it’s a new customer or an existing customer, loyalty programs can be customized for everyone. Once you acquire a new customer, you can offer a welcome kit that allows them to avail discounts on future purchases. For existing customers, you can create customized deals. This will also act as a personalization strategy.
A POS billing software is capable of managing loyalty programs as well. The intelligent functioning of a POS system analyzes customer details and purchase history to curate personalized offers.
• Go an Extra Mile
Most customers are unsure about their preferences. This is a great opportunity for you to ensure purchase and develop a long-lasting relationship. Assist customers by selecting products based on their preferences, render your personal views, get completely involved, show related products, and interact with them until they walk out of the store.
If they have any special requests, try to fulfill them. For example, if they want you to deliver products at a particular place or asks you to contact them when a particular product is back in stock, let them know what you can do for them.
• Be Transparent about your Policies
Like every other business, your retail business also abides by certain policies & regulations. Sometimes conflicts can arise between the retailer and the customer. In these cases, you must communicate effectively and let customers know about the policies. You don’t need to be harsh even if the customer refuses to oblige or gets angry. If you want to ensure great customer service, always be polite.
When you ask customers to share their email addresses or mobile numbers, ask them whether they would like to receive promotional updates or not. Similarly, let them know about return policies, customer support timings, and other information relevant to the customer.
Offer Outstanding Customer Call Support
Only selling a product is not enough. Serving customers for their post-shopping queries is also crucial. So, invest in a proper phone system service for retail businesses to deliver seamless customer experience. For example, your customer calls after a day or two to inquire if more products she bought exists in your store. If you own an advanced phone system, you can connect her directly to the executive keeping records of the inventory so that she gets a correct solution instead of making her wait till the representative gets an answer from the inventory department.
• Make Customer Problems your Priority
Problem-solving skills determine the extent of customer service in retail stores. While most employees are proficient in communicating with the customers, there are a few who can react smartly according to the situation. Problems may arise due to miscommunication or a fault in the retailing process.
Solving a problem without hampering customer experience is the need for retail customer service. It becomes important to take corrective measures. For example, if a customer leaves negative feedback, you must contact them, solve their problem, and ask them to leave feedback again to reflect their latest experience.
Incorporate these measures to ensure seamless customer service in your retail business. Before you implement these measures, analyze what you actually need. Based on your future goals and present conditions, you may need to modify some of these strategies as per your requirements.