How to Improve Customer Experience in Your Retail Store
Jennifer Lilley
Mar 31, 2021
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Store assistant helping customer
Whole libraries have been written about how to improve customer experience in retail, and while some principles go back to the beginning of commerce, the latest technology has offered new avenues for delivering that red carpet customer experience. Here are just a few tips to improve customer experience— and why it matters.
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Invest in product training
There’s nothing wrong with having your sales reps ask the manager when they don’t know something about a product. Sure, it takes more of the manager’s time, but at least the customer’s questions are getting answered. But knowledgeable sales reps don’t just save your time as the manager, they save the customer’s time, as well, and that’s important. Moreover, sales reps who know their stuff increase customer confidence. Tulip Retail found that 79% of shoppers reported that knowledgeable reps were “important” or “very important.” The same study reported that nearly 50% of customers said that well-versed salespeople would encourage them to shop in physical stores.
Everyone wants to feel
taken care of
. Well-trained sales reps are part of this experience. And product training doesn’t have to be a massive inconvenience anymore. Reps can complete training modules on their phones between customer interactions.
Celebrate customer birthdays
This one sounds simple, or maybe even played out, but it’s a proven strategy, and it holds up. According to Power Reviews, it leads to an 88% increase in brand loyalty. People just love to be celebrated.
Plus, there’s another benefit for you. Customers are often hesitant to sign up for email lists, but a birthday gift or discount will keep them from mashing the unsubscribe button. That’s a big help, too, since email marketing still works. McKinsey & Company found that email marketing is up to
40 times
more effective than social media marketing. The key is just hanging on to those newsletter subscribers.
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Improve customer experience by improving employee experience
Simon Sinek, author of
Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team
once said, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” This is a scalable principle, applicable whether you’re working at a massive corporation or a small, single shop. Perhaps the simplest example of this idea in action is with
. When your employees are happy and engaged, they’ll smile more. And according to the Cambridge Handbook of Workplace Affect, this prompts a mimicry impulse in the customers with whom your employees are interacting. Employee smiles cause your customers to smile, and they leave your store happy.
All of this matters. According to author Paul Farris, returning customers have a 60-70% conversion rate. And what’s the best way to keep those customers coming back? Provide them with an excellent experience the first time.
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Jennifer Lilley
Jen is part of the Success team at Arcade.