Are you serious about your customers?
I started the day with some retail therapy this morning.This started me thinking, just how serious businesses are about their customers. The shops I walked into where so inconsistent. A few were very good. A few were average but most were very poor. Two of these were very memorable.
So, how serious are you about your customers? A few questions to get you thinking.
Just how much time do you spend with your customers? This should be a blend of face to face, phone, email and social media. More importantly, do you set aside time in your diary for this?
This is not something you do now and then. Today, I observed several managers failing to consider the customers in their store, while they where staff training. Training should be done before the store opens. Preferably away from the store if you can. You should never place training above your customers. Sometimes you only get one shot with a customer to make a lasting impression.
How often do you talk to your staff about your customers?
Encourage your staff to talk too you, then listen and act. Your front line staff really can help you. If you fail to act, your staff will not bother talking too you again. This does not need to be a huge meeting, it can be in a coffee break, just listen and act. Show your staff you value their opinion.
Is the customer at the heart of everything you do? Remember, without customers you would have no business. So it is vital you place your customers at the heart of your business.
Do you look through your customers eyes when planning? Take a good look, what are the customers seeing and hearing? Is it what you want?
What customer measures do you have? Do they work? Do you review them and take action?
So, get working these questions today! It is safe to say developing a total approach to delivering an outstanding customer experience is an ongoing process, not an overnight one. If you commit, the rewards will be there and so will your business for years to come.
Observe your customers!
A question, how often do you observe your customers? Not often enough, I think most of you will answer. To be fair, running a business takes up a lot of time and energy, especially, if you are a small business. But it is worth trying to make the time. Here is why.
Lets take a retail store for example. If you have in store and even outside cameras make use of them. If not, observe from afar. Lets assume you have a car park. Observe how your customers enter the car park, which side of the car park they walk to your store, do they look around etc. This can give you a host of opportunities to enhance the experience. It could be better lighting in the car park, a unused wall you could advertise the latest products on.
How does your customer enter your shop? Do they stop and look in the window or do they go straight in? Do they know what they want and know where it is, do they head straight for it or do they need help? Do your staff pounce on customers? or welcome them, as if it’s their own home? how do your customers navigate your shop? Do you know the hot spots or are you just guessing?
The layout of a shop tends to lead us and this can be good or bad. It is worth trying to map out the customer hot spots in your shop. These areas may not be the areas you thought they would be.
Larger chains do this using software, by map out both the customer and the employees movements. This helps with finding the best positions for key items, also for your staff, so they can be on hand to help the customer and enhance the experience. Using this information and a whole lot more you can design a memorable customer experience which stands out from the pack! One more thing, don’t neglect how your customer leaves your store, great opportunities are often missed here also
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