How to Improve Retail Customer Experience
In today’s market, customer experience matters more than ever.
It is not just a way to keep your customers happy, providing the best retail experience is what keeps them coming back and lets you stand out from the competition.
If you are a B2C company or brick-and-mortar business, you have the most to gain by improving your customer's experience as it can broadly impact your business growth.
Based on a study by Forbes, 84% of companies report increased business revenue when they positively change their customer experience.
But where do you begin? Here are five practices you can adopt to improve your retail customer experience.
1. Add automation to your processes
Whether it's using AI-powered chatbots to engage with prospects 24/7 or setting an automated email campaign to nurture your potential leads, automating your process can help you win over new customers.
These tools and technology can help replace manpower for repetitive tasks, and provide speedy and error-free customer interaction, which is great for customer experience.
Moreover, it can boost your engagement and sales.
SMS marketing, for example, can be an effective marketing technique for small businesses with various industries reporting open rates as high as 98%, which almost guarantees that your message gets seen.
With a compelling message, you can drive better conversion rates than emails and constantly remain on top of your customer’s minds.
An additional advantage with automation tools is that it allows you to segment your customers. This will enable you to make more successful and personalized pitches to up-sell or cross-sell your existing clients.
We recommend balancing chatbot and human response. Chatbots should only be viewed as an extension of the human customer support team rather than a substitute since people have the ability to foster deeper connections.
2. Solidify your online presence
The buyer's journey is changing for today's consumers. With more people turning to the web to shop or research more about a brand, product, and service --- you need to build and strengthen your online presence.
Google says that nearly 3 in 4 people agree that they are always on the lookout for brands and products relevant to them. This means that consumers are regularly engaging with a business before they decide to become paying customers.
A solid engagement strategy suitable for retail businesses is omnichannel marketing - to make yourself available and interact with consumers across multiple channels.
This adds more touchpoints for retail businesses, which will provide more of a seamless user experience, since w customers will be able to find and reach the company on their preferred channel.
Beyond that, the omnichannel experience will allow you to market, sell, and serve customers through multiple channels to create an integrated and cohesive customer experience.
For example, a customer may have discovered your bookstore from your Google Business Profile (GBP) during a mobile search, then seen the news of your amazing 30% OFF promotion on Facebook, which eventually led them to visit your store.
No matter the nature of your business, we recommend that consumer-facing companies should set up a GBP and Facebook profile, as this is where most of your potential customers would likely engage with your business.
3. Optimize for mobile
Most of your customers are on the internet using their mobile phones, so it only makes sense to optimize your website for mobile users.
A poor mobile experience will cause a negative user experience, leading to high churn rates or damaging potential opportunities.
It's been a few years now since Google announced that it was moving to mobile-first indexing for the whole web, which makes your website's mobile user experience more important than ever since it can affect your organic rankings.
You can check if your website passes Google's mobile-friendly test or simply complete the changes they suggest.
If it is relevant to your business, we suggest that you create a mobile app to build an even better experience for your customers, where you have control over their entire user experience and can make it more personal to each customer.
4. Make data-driven decisions
When it comes to improving your customer experience, you have to start listening. Pay attention to the feedback from your customers and leverage them to improve your processes.
You can set up analytic programs like retail POS solutions or heatmap tools that can help you measure customer engagement and collect valuable insights to make better decisions.
Use this information and data to improve your customer's experience, like how you can better connect touchpoints to facilitate a seamless buying journey or which channels you should focus your efforts on to get better customer engagement.
By better understanding what your customer needs, you will be able to tailor your products or services in order to meet their expectations.
5. Resolve issues quickly
Even with the best efforts, sometimes difficult customer situations can arise, and how you handle these situations can make the difference between a refund and long-term loyalty.
You want to resolve issues quickly since dissatisfied and disappointed customers are more likely to spread a negative perception of a brand on social media.
For any brand, you want to avoid a public relations crisis. Train your employees on the proper ways to deal with difficult situations.
Make sure to listen to the customer and show genuine empathy. Assess the situation, and offer a quick yet satisfactory solution to fix the problem.
In today's competitive market, excellent customer service can mean the difference between a winning and losing business.
Especially when it comes to customer-facing businesses, you want to make sure you implement these methods to improve your retail customer experience.
Applying these methods will definitely help empower your customer support team, improve efficiency, close more leads, and provide a boost to customer retention.