Like all businesses, the retail sector can attribute its success to one thing, and one thing only: their clients. After all, without clients to purchase your products, your business is not going to succeed. Many companies make the mistake of focusing on driving in new clients and often end up neglecting the existing customers they already have. It’s not only about enticing new customers, but rather creating happy customers who are going to provide you with reliable return businesses. With that in mind, here are four simple things you can do as a retail business to keep your customers coming back for more.
Create a positive working atmosphere
While the saying might be ‘the customer is always right,’ in truth, it is your employees who have the power to make or break your business. When your employees are kept happy and have a good work ethos, it reflects positively on your business and makes the whole atmosphere within the store more pleasant. Your employees are more likely to deal with your customers directly than you are, so you need to be certain that you have well informed, personable and confident workers manning your front lines. Try and find ways to increase job satisfaction within the store, from giving rewards for excellent standards of work, to just making your employees feel valued, as this will then translate into how your customers view your store.
Make the shopping experience straightforward
While you might like the layout of your store because it is aesthetically pleasing, and aesthetics are important to a degree, one of the more important aspects of retail is practicality. You need to think less like a store owner, and more like a customer; what is the first thing that customers see when they come in? How easy is it to navigate the store when using a basket or trolley, when shopping with a pushchair or trying to look after three kids? These are all things you need to consider before cramming too many aisles into a small space or hanging too many items of clothing on a single rail. The checkout experience is another area where you need to try and make the experience run as smoothly as possible; make sure your checkout staff are helpful and quick at packing, without making the customer feel rushed. You should also try and keep payment easy to handle by utilizing an EMV card reader that can also handle contactless payments.
Reward loyalty in customers
In a day and age where the same item, or similar, can be bought in hundreds of different stores across the world or even online, it is important to recognize loyalty in customers who continue to shop at your store. By rewarding customers, you give them more motivation to return to your store. Rewards can be simple, such as anything from giving a small discount after a certain amount of trips to the store, or by giving them a loyalty card which allows them to collect points in return for special offers. You should also try and make customers feel that you value them as an individual, rather than seeing them as just another customer, as many people enjoy the personal touch. Therefore, if you have regular customers coming in, it is worthwhile at least learning their name, and maybe even offering customers a discount on their birthdays.
Put the customer first
Unfortunately, things do not always run smoothly when it comes to customer interaction, and sometimes disputes do occur. Customers can become disgruntled about a range of different issues, from bad service to products not living up to expectation. Whatever the case, the way that you handle upset customers is going to have a huge impact on whether or not they decide to shop with you again. Not only that, but word of mouth can be both a blessing and a curse in business, and if customers feel their complaints and heard and dealt with appropriately, they will make sure that other people know it too. This is why it is vital to try and strike a compromise in any difficult situation that arises, even if you know that the customer is in the wrong. For example, if they are returning an item after the set period of the return policy, rather than giving no refund at all, you could offer to refund half of the retail price to them on a gift card. This not only strikes a good compromise in favor of the customer but also ensures they have a reason to return to your store.