In 2014 alone, worldwide retail sales brought in a total of more than $22 trillion. And much of that business was from repeat customers supporting the stores they love.
As a business owner, you know that your customers can make or break your brand. If they’re happy with your services, they’ll keep coming back. But how can you increase your chances of getting that consistent repeat business?
Check out these simple retail tips that will help you keep customers coming through the door.
1. Focus on Customer Service
In the retail world, the saying, “the customer is always right,” matters more than any other industry. You rely on your customers to keep your business going. And the best way to keep your customers happy is to treat them as though they’re the most important people in the world.
Train your team to focus on providing the best customer services possible. This means putting the customer first in everything they do, whether it’s helping them find a product or saying goodbye as they leave the store.
Great customer service is memorable and when customers feel like they matter, they’ll be more likely to come back to your business.
2. Streamline the Checkout Process
The checkout process can make or break a customer’s experience. If they’re in a hurry, they want the line to move quickly. And if they’re not, it’s your team’s final opportunity to make sure they have everything they need before leaving the store.
Do what you can to make the process as simple as possible.
Update your POS system to reduce the likelihood of system crashes. Encourage your team to upsell based on the types of products the customer is buying. And consider putting convenience items within arm’s reach so your customers can grab that last thing before they leave.
A commercial drinks fridge close to the registers lets them grab a beverage for the drive home and stocking the registers with your most popular small items helps them grab the last few items on their list without leaving the line.
3. Listen to Customer Feedback
As a business owner, it’s easy to get sidetracked with daily tasks. When this happens, you can lose sight of what’s working and what’s causing upset with your customers.
But there’s a simple way to protect yourself from accidentally disappointing your customer base: listen to their feedback.
Shoppers love to support businesses where the owner values their feedback and they feel listened to.
If someone comes to you with feedback, whether it’s a compliment or a critique, listen to it. Ask your front-line team to do the same and report that feedback to you when they’re able.
The more information you have on what customers love and dislike, the better you’ll be able to improve the experience. Once they see that you’re making efforts to address their concerns, your customers will continue to come back time and time again.
4. Treat Your Team Right
Your employees are the ones that interact with the customers each day. When they’re unhappy, you can expect it to come across in their customer service skills.
The best way to ensure that they give their all in their jobs is to treat them with respect and appreciation. Listen to their concerns with the same attention you show your customers. And make improvements based on their feedback.
Remember, your team sees more of the day to day operations than you do. And they suffer more of the abuse of rude customers than you will. Show them that you appreciate them and do what you can to make their time at work better.
When your employees are happy, they’ll feel excited to go to work every day. They’ll share that excitement and enthusiasm with your customers.
5. Think Like the Customer
You know what works for your business in theory. But the theory doesn’t always translate into real life.
Take some time to think as your customers do. Walk the store as though you were shopping there and make note of what works and what doesn’t.
Are there things you can do that would make the store more approachable? Could you change the layout to reduce customer confusion?
Approaching your business from the viewpoint of your customers can help you stay relevant.
6. Don’t Fear Change
Once you find something that works, it’s tempting to stick to it. But stale retail operations that keep things the same for months on end aren’t going to attract new or repeat business.
Your customers want a fresh shopping experience. They understand that change is part of the retail environment. Even if they complain about a product going out of stock or getting discontinued, they still enjoy the opportunity to try something new.
Embrace change and don’t hesitate to show your enthusiasm for it. When your team feels excited about new products or upgrades, your customers will get excited, too.
7. Be Consistent with Policies
Every retail business has to deal with returns. It’s a fact of life. But you need to be consistent with your policies so customers know what to expect.
Making exceptions for certain people is fine in moderation, but your entire team needs to be on the same page. When you’re consistent, your customers get the same experience no matter who they talk to.
This is helpful from a customer service standpoint, but it also helps cut down on loss. Staying firm on your policies means customers can’t get away with certain behaviors if they talk to the “right” person.
Use These Retail Tips to Your Advantage
Running a successful retail business doesn’t have to be a challenge. Try implementing these simple retail tips at your store and see what happens.
If you put your customers first, care for your employees, and do what you know is right for your company, you can’t help but get repeat business.
Looking for more helpful tips to streamline your retail operations? Check out our latest posts.