Boost your customer engagement through these 3 Key Attributes
Customers are the heart of any business- no matter what industry it is in. This holds true for retail as well. In fact, in the retail space, invariably everything comes down to the customer. What they like, how they perceive your products or services. In this day and age where customers are armed with plenty of information and choice- Satisfied customers are your best marketing strategy. So, what would attract customers to your business and make them stay on?
The key to managing customers’ perceptions is to engage with them. To build a connection with them. The better you are at it, a customer’s experience at your store shifts from making a transaction to having an experience, and then to building a relationship. In the eyes of the customer, your brand ascends from being known, to being liked, and to being trusted.
Here’s a question for you- What experiences does your business provide your customers? Do your customers know, like or trust your brand? Over the years, I’ve come to resonate with certain attributes that would’ve helped me have a great experience as a retail customer. These insights hold true for any retail business, regardless of its size and customer base. And these are attributes that are fairly simple to incorporate, yet many businesses struggle to.
- Smile!– Yes, that’s right, smile. Sounds too simple right? Now think about it- you walk into a store and approach someone for help with something. How good does it feel when you are served with a smile or positive, welcoming energy? When you serve others with a smile, you make them feel welcome. Their energy lifts, and they feel like they can approach you for anything. That lays the foundation of trust in your relationship with your customers.
Their question isn’t a hindrance to your work, but it is one of the reasons of your work. Unfortunately, this is a point that is often missed by people serving customers. And that is often the trigger point for customers feeling dissatisfied, even disappointed with their experience. After all, people always remember how you make them feel.
Here’s a fact that underlines the importance of this attribute- Some customers are likely to spend 40% more with a retailer that serves them with a smile. I know I would! So, smile away 🙂
- Empathy– A massive factor in the success of a retail business, or any business for that matter is how it empathises with its customers. How they put themselves in the customers’ shoes and operate. This comes down to gauging what problems of theirs do you solve, what their preferences are and what experiences would delight them the most. This applies not just when you design and conceptualise your business, but also to your day-to-day operations, and in your interactions with your customers.
I once shopped at a baby clothes’ outlet. While shopping, I had to change my little one’s diapers. As I entered the changing room, I was pleasantly surprised. They were adequately stocked with diapers, wipes, disposable bags, the works. They had put a note on the wall saying “Dear parents, we get that caring for your little one can be a handful. And sometimes, you might get caught off-guard. We’ve provided you with supplies that ensure you have one less thing to worry about. Enjoy the experience!”
As a new parent, this was one of my nightmares- to find myself short of supplies as I need to change my baby in a public space. That note literally spoke to me! Empathy is a really powerful way to win your customers’ trust. The more empathy you demonstrate, the deeper your connection with customers.
- Going the extra mile– In my experience shopping at 2 of the major supermarket chains, I have noticed a key distinction. In one of the stores- if I ask for assistance with finding an item, the staff member would point me to which aisle that item could be found. In the second store, the staff member would take me to the right aisle, and personally help me locate the item. I am not saying that my experience in the 1st store would be unpleasant, but the level of care I receive in the 2nd store just elevates my shopping experience every single time.
The ability of people to go the extra mile for your customers is a vital ingredient to win them over. In most cases, customers appreciate you going out your way to help them, and they know they can trust you to help every time. Do people in your business go the extra mile to assist customers? Do you look at incorporating different ways to delight your customers?
The above 3 attributes, when embraced whole-heartedly by retailers, can help them engage better with customers and enable them to manage their perceptions in a better way, and create long-term positive relationships. Which of these attributes dos your business consistently incorporate? Which are some the areas where you could improve?