Having a loyal customer base is the secret to running a successful retail outlet. Just bringing people in through the doors is no longer enough; you’ll also have to find innovative ways to keep them coming back. And there are reasons why!
- a) Retaining customers will cost you less than getting new ones.
- b) Plus, repeat customers are more likely to buy from you, and they help promote your business.
But stopping customers from walking away isn’t an easy job—especially not when your competitors are waiting for a single chance to woo them away.
Today, we’ll discuss six ways to delight your customers and keep them happy every time they shop at your retail store.
1. Ensure Your Staff is Knowledgeable
Whether you’re shopping for a new fridge or the perfect read for your kids, you want to talk to a salesperson who can give you sound advice and an expert opinion.
Customers are more likely to return to your store if they think of you and your staff as the experts who can solve a problem or instantly meet their needs.
- Hire employees with good social skills incredible listening skills, a friendly and energetic personality, and the understanding that relationship-building is key.
- Coupled with ongoing training, staff with good social skills will ensure that customers feel comfortable, valued, and ready to return.
2. Provide Amazing Customer Service
Research shows 66% of customers are willing to pay more if it means receiving excellent customer service — and just about as many will walk out the door if service is poor.
While online transactions reduce wait times and increase customer expectations, brick-and-mortar establishments have to do what computers can’t — make service personal, meaningful, and worth coming back for.
Have smart, friendly, and knowledgeable staff who fix problems in a flash and make every transaction painless.
3. Eliminate Pain Points
such as circling the parking lot to nab a spot, the frustration of the words “only available online” or unwelcome challenges at checkout.
- Free Parking – Consider either offering free parking or partner up with other local establishments to create a validation program that eases parking costs for your customers.
- Only available Online – Consider integrating your online sales with your storefront by offering Free in-store pick-up for customers who may not want a product delivered to their home
- Fix the Unwelcome challenges within the layout or operation of your business
- Make your checkout counter the most approachable and easiest to navigate the area in your store so customers find it as a place to build relationships, rather than just make transactions.
4.Reward customers for their loyalty
Customers today have many retail outlets as well as eCommerce options to shop from. So if they’re coming back to your store, it means they’re loyal to your brand. Reward such loyal customers for every repeat purchase they make.
- Create an attractive loyalty program with exclusive discounts, access to the store lounge area and limited-edition goods, and other special offers.
Studies show 83% of consumers say loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a company, while 49% agreed they spend more after joining a loyalty program.
There are many loyalty program software options including CORE Solutions that can help you start or improve your customer loyalty program
5.Provide a consistent experience across channels
Customers research products online before making a purchase offline, or vice versa. And if they find conflicting business information, product catalogs, or prices, chances are they’re not coming back to you. So focus on providing a consistent experience across marketing and sales channels, including your retail outlet. Research shows that having omnichannel customer engagement strategies helps retailers retain, on average, 89% of their customers.
6.Use data to personalize retail interactions
Data can help you know more about the needs and preferences of your customers. Use the data you’ve captured through loyalty programs, shopping carts, point of sale (POS) systems, social media, and other customer touchpoints to personalize ads and communication for your existing customers.
There’s a reason why you shouldn’t ignore personalization. Studies show About 63% of consumers expect personalized services as part of the standard experience they get while shopping at your retail store.
There are leading retail management solutions such as CORE with analytics tools to generate insights from the customer data you already have. You can use these insights to improve customer satisfaction.
By Dorcas Kinyua,
Head of Marketing at CompuLynx Ltd.