What is Digital Customer Experience2 1

How to enhance customer experience in retail

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What is customer experience?

According to Wikipedia, customer experienced is defined as Customer experience (CX) is a totality of cognitiveaffectivesensory, and behavioural consumer responses during all stages of the consumption process including pre-purchase, consumption, and post-purchase stages.”

Heavy words? Let us make it easy for you. Customer experience simply refers to the perception and feelings the customers have regarding your business. Customer experience, or often abbreviated to as CX, defines the relationship the customers have with your business. It defines every interaction of the customer with the businesses, and it does not have to necessarily be about purchase only. 

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What is customer experience in retail?

Customer experience in retail refers to the perception and feelings the customers have towards the brands depending on their offline as well as online services.

The factors start to influence customers’ experience right from the moment they enter a retail shop/store or visit the brand’s website. And follows through various steps like the actual purchase, billing process, shipment and ends with delivery. As the customer is making this journey, he is simultaneously building his experience with the brand. Depending on how smooth or how troublesome this whole process was, the customers will decide whether they want to shop again with the brand. 

The study in 2015 conducted by Walker, predicted that by 2020, customer experience will be the sole factor that will act as a brand differentiator, out running price and product. As say no more, today in 2021, most retail brands are under a lot of pressure to reconsider their CX strategies as technology is taking over the traditional B2C method of market. 

It is now proven that there is a need to always keep track of your customer experience strategies. Doing so will not only build your brand’s name and customer loyalties, but having an up-to-date CX strategy will definitely boost your sales. Customers being totally satisfied with your brand’s products and services, will have enough reasons to visit your store again and again, and they might decide to give you their lifetime value.

Why should you enhance customer experience in retail?

Paying attention to customer experience in the retail world matters a lot when it comes to brand name and success. As discussed above customer loyalty is a very important aspect. Having a customer base, who keeps on choosing to shop with your brand while there are other equally potential alternative brands out there is a success in its own. 

But apart from these facts, we decided to put forth some proven facts and studies that says this out loud for this section:

Study

Findings 

Bain & company

Companies that have better customer experience strategies have revenues between 4% to 8% above their market. 

Harris interactive

89% of customers decide to switch to a better competition after dealing with poor customer experience.

Bain & company

A 5% increase in customer retention produces 25% of increased profits.

Gartner 

64% of customers find customer experience more important than the price. 

Harvard business reviews

Acquiring new customers costs anywhere between 5 and 25 times more than retaining existing customers.

Microsoft

66% of 18-34 year-olds say their customer service expectations have risen in the last year.

Zendesk 

95% share bad experiences and 87% share good experiences with others.

Zendesk 

54% shared bad experiences with more than five people.

Vision critical

42% of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after just two bad experiences.

Dimensional research

52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience.

Salesforce 

64% of customers want to shop with companies that can meet their needs in real-time.

Estiban kolsky

Only 1 in 26 customers will tell a business about their negative experience; the rest simply leave according to customer service facts.

Dimensional research

90% of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product.

Statista 

27% of Americans rate their number one frustration with customer service as “lack of effectiveness.”

Dimensional research 

69% attributed their good customer service experience to the quick resolution of their problem.

25 ways to enhance the customer experience in retail

  • Justifying sales with social proof

People like proofs. Customers are always sceptical regarding their purchase and are always looking for some proof or justifications for their buy. Your key is to provide them with all the proof they need. 

You can make use of the most effective medium for this task that is social media. Customers generally post their reviews and feedback on their social handles by tagging the brands. You can use these positive posts to give your customers proof of their purchase. 

  • Gifts and surprises 

Giving out gifts and surprises has always been an effective way of drawing customers’ attention to your brand. According to a book written by Robert Cialdini, called Influence: The psychology of persuasion, it states that when you offer gifts to the shoppers, you activate their reciprocity reflex. 

When you give customers something for free or in return, they feel obligated to do something in return. And that something is probably your product. 

  • Take notes

Make your customers feel important. Studies have proven that including this practice in your service have more chances of customers returning to your brand. 

Let’s say when a waiter treats the customers with politeness and listen to what they have to say, customers, feel respected and important in the process.

  • Train your staff 

Given the previous point of making your customers feel important, the opposite of it can be the reason for their disappointment as well. 

Customers don’t like it when they are not treated right by the service providers. When a customer comes with a query or problem, they expect the company employees to handle them efficiently. While they do this, the employees need to make sure that they are not offending the customers in any way. To make this work smooth, employees at the customer care desk need to be trained well on how to handle the customer base. 

  • The customer is the boss

Make the employees work in a way that makes the customers feel like the boss. Give them a chance to do something for your brand and amplify their contribution to your marketing channels as well. 

The customer appreciates the praise. Let’s say you have a drive going on where you ask your customers to post their best pictures wearing clothes of your brands and feature them on your socials. This will motivate them to buy your clothes and actively participate in your drive with the enthusiasm of getting featured. 

  • Customer birthday celebration 

Who doesn’t like to be celebrating their birthdays? Customers love it when they get a simple happy birthday SMS or emails from the brands that they have a purchase history with. 

You can also send them some coupons or vouchers or deals as a gift on their special day. 

  • Customization over standardization

Customers like personalized shopping experiences. You want the customers to be consistent with your brand right? So why not make them feel like they have their place in your service. 

For example, target started a new practice where they placed beacons that identifies the customers individually and help them serve personally. 

  • Customer satisfaction survey

The most commonly used method for getting customer feedback and keeping track of their experience with your brand is by regularly conducting customer satisfaction surveys.

It is important because while you are sitting back after deploying your product in the market, customers might need help with the product or have some queries or complaints about it. So you must conduct customer satisfaction surveys regularly. 

  • Service-oriented employees

Cranky and uptight staff is often frowned upon. Well, it is quite obvious. Customers expect decent service from the staff when they choose to shop with your brand. 

That is why it is important to train your staff to patiently handle the customers and provide them with all the solutions they need throughout their shopping journey. 

  • Appealing indirect buyers 

When you see a mother with her child roaming in the kid’s section, the kid itself is your indirect buyer. In such cases, you don’t need to appeal to the mother but the kid. 

Such quick acts can increase the chances of the customers buying your product. 

  • Self-service checkouts

Waiting in a queue for a long time just to check out the purchase is surely a process full of hassle. The remedy to that can be to assign an employee to the customer while they are picking their products and help them start the process there itself. In Japan, few stores have the technology where there are no checkout points and employees, the customers are supposed the scan their products and pay themselves out of the shop. 

  • Entertainment during the waiting time

In case the waiting time is not avoidable and the customers have no choice but to wait in the long lines, why not make this experience for them interesting too?

You can appoint a magician or a comedian or a singer to entertain them while they wait for their turn to arrive. This will help them stay patient and calm in the process. 

  • Employee mentorship program

This refers to a practice where junior employees meet up with senior employees. These discussions can include juniors taking words from the seniors regarding their experiences and the mistakes that they made and learning from them to devote their work towards a better customer experience.

  • Customer relationship management software

many retail stores use customer relationship management software which provides many options from inexpensive contractually remove the enterprise last confusion soft. CRM can help you manage customer experiences along with customer data. Let’s say for example CRM can alert him that a regular elderly shopper has not come to the store in a while. 

  • Identifying the potential pitfalls

Here the key is to use a mystery shopping company that will provide you with an unbiased outsider view of how shoppers experience your store. Starting from that you can also fish your customer through a better mystery shopping experience. 

  • The safe and secure shopping experience

In a pandemic like the current one, customers still hesitate to shop in the stores and are quite sceptical about it. You need to provide them with health and safety assurances and make them see how your store is stealing and hygienic. 

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  •  Constant re-invention

Keep your store up to delete and look out for new upgrades in the ambience and decorations. deal or appealing your store looks, the more are the chances of the customers coming to your store. you need to keep the customer entertained and pleased with your in-store experience.

  • Omnichannel shopping experiences

Omnichannel means providing more options for the customers to shop from. you can use various online channels such as your website, Facebook, Instagram store, etc. Customers can make use of these channels for not only shopping but also to provide their feedback and post their queries. this allows customers to have more mediums to reach out to your brand add interact with you easily. 

  • Location

is the major factor when it comes to physical store shopping. you have to place your shop in an area that is active throughout the day and has more customer attention. the place that your store is in should be large enough so that you can conduct various events if you want to are whether the customers can meet and hang out. 

  • Product building

Customers like to personalise their products. so if this idea fits best with your brand it would be a great initiative to start asking the customers to personalise or customize their products and delivering them just that. for example, you own a brand of clothes, you can ask the customers to select their design, or a quote, or a picture of their choice which they would like to get printed on the t-shirts. doing so will make it a fun purchase for them and will help your brand to stand out from the market of thousands of clothing brands. 

  • Treasure hunts

people like to buy what is rare. so when the custom was see a deal or a sale that is for a limited time with a limited offer they tend to rush in for the purchase. you can use this strategy to your advantage to get more customer interaction and increase your sales. one of the examples of a company that have mastered this treasure hunt strategy is TJX. 

  • Face to face customer service

Handling a customer problem or a customer query can be a tedious job when conducted online or on the phone. the best way to do this is to sort their problems face to face. Four days to be a success the first step you need to do is to train your employees. employees should know your product and know-how to solve any problem that arises with it. 

  • Bundling products and services

when a customer is new to your store and is shopping for a product, the strategy is to suggest to them related services all related products. for example, Sephora and Ulta have recognised this strategy from the very beginning. 

  • Improving your speed

when we say to improve your speed reportedly refer to the response time of your online as well as offline store. When a customer walks into your store they expect quick service. if your store is a physical offline store train your staff to be available whenever the customer demands. The same goes for query solving. when a customer reports a problem they always expect an immediate response from the other end. by providing these immediate services there are no chance okay customers having a bad experience with your brand. 

  • Rewarding your regulars

these include the group of customers that are loyal to your brand and are regular with their shopping from your company. you can announce a special coupon or a special day for the customers that have been with you for a long time. 

FAQ:

The best way to improve your customer experience in a retail business is to make the customer feel respected and considered. This article contains 25 ways of how to add to your customer experience.

Customer experience is the customer’s perception of the company. A company should indulge in various strategies to level up its customer experience. Enhancing one customer experience includes providing more measures that are customer-oriented and work for their betterment.

Tips to improving your customer services are active listening, empathising, positive language, good technical skills, good product knowledge, communication skills, customer feedback analysis skills and willingness to learn new things.

According to a study named “Discovering WOW”, a good retail experience provides engagement, being polite, caring, helping, acknowledging and listening.

Tips to increasing your customer satisfaction are listening, being proactive, honesty and expectations management in markets.

The 3 main qualities of customer service are empathy, friendly attitude and good communication skills.

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