Points cards, attractive discounts, targeted promotional emails – some merchants bring out the heavy artillery to build customer loyalty. Is providing unequaled customer experience sufficient to accomplish this? Here’s how to go about it, with simple and practical actions.
A company’s success obviously depends on its ability to attract new customers, to renew itself and to overcome the competition. However, customer loyalty has a big role to play.
Indeed, with an increasingly competitive market, customer experience has become the essential factor in the retail sector. “Consumers return to the places where they received good service, good advice, a warm welcome and where they were listened to,” says Patricia Lapierre, executive director of Retail Quebec. “A successful customer service experience is a guarantee of loyalty.” According to an American study, close to 9 consumers in 10 would be ready to pay more to have a better customer experience.
In addition, in his book “Customer Genius”, author Peter Fisk indicates that 65% of customers are lost following a negative experience. And recruiting a new customer costs three times more than keeping them. So there is no reason to set aside this strategy! But how do you provide a customer experience… that will bring customers back?
Emphasize your expertise
Beyond a smile and warm welcome, use your expertise to guide the customer in their choices. “Customers like to be reassured or offered products that they don’t see at first glance,” notes Mme Lapierre. “Giving a variety of solutions is a guarantee of loyalty, since the customer will feel confident in his consultant-seller.” After all, the ability to see, try and feel is unique to the shop experience. Take the opportunity to stand out and give value to your signature!
Promote the atmosphere
If you have a tendency to believe that a good customer experience comes down to the attitude you adopt towards customers, think again. “It’s not the person that serves us that makes all the difference, it’s the whole atmosphere of the shop,” explains the executive director of Retail Quebec. “Customers have to feel at ease and the atmosphere must give them a sense of well-being.” In this sense, special attention must be paid to the lighting, decor, placement of objects, the music and even mutual assistance between employees.
Many companies tend to attract new customers with special discounts. But why not do the opposite and offer a special thank you gift dedicated to your most loyal customers? After all, they be all the happier to shop at your store!