By Stephanie Levy | HappyOrNot
3 MIN READ
The 2017 trends in retail saw many changes and movements, such as the importance of the in-store experience, developing the omnichannel, the use of data, and merge of retail and technology. And, not surprisingly, at the heart of each of these trends is the customer.
Customer experience in retail is arguably the most important aspect of a successful retail business. Customers drive sales; customers drive word of mouth; customers drive demand. The way in which a customer is treated when they interact with your brand, be it in-store or online, can be the tipping point between having them be a promoter or a detractor.
The pressure to deliver a positive lasting impression rings even more true in the in-store environment. Customers expect an extra ‘wow’ factor when venturing out to visit in-store, because, let’s face it, there are many benefits (like saving time and travel costs) to shop online from the comfort of home.
When retailers are able to attract customers to their store, they need to be prepared to offer a great service experience that will make their customers come back for more. But how can retailers be certain that they are providing a great experience? They need easy-to-use data.
Continuous customer satisfaction data that is digestible is critical in uncovering issues that are impacting retail sales. While the crux of the effort is customer happiness, it’s the many points-of-interaction that make up their overall experience. That’s why collecting data across all touchpoints of the retail business is imperative to developing action plans for improvement.
Here’s just a few questions that retailers should ask – and how the collected data helps – to measure service performance:
How friendly were our staff today?
If there are certain hours, days of the week, or departments where feedback results are negative, there may be issues impacting staff attitudes.
How to improve: Compare work shift schedules against the results to determine staff requiring attention, and reach out to them to discuss the problem and how it can be positively resolved.
How easy was it to find help today?
Similar to staff friendliness, if the data shows negative trends during certain hours or weekdays, there may be problems with workforce management.
How to improve: Investigate the employee scheduling plan in connection with peak store traffic and busiest departments to uncover any gaps in floor staff, and reschedule accordingly.
How satisfied are you with our product selection?
Negative feedback data in this focus area indicates that you aren’t offering what your customers are visiting you for, and is a certain way to have your customers purchase from the competition.
How to improve: Review purchase and restock patterns to make sure that sufficient stock is on hand for the most popular items. This is increasingly important during peak shopping seasons.
Please rate your checkout experience
Maybe a shopper’s worst nightmare are long check-out lines. Shoppers want to get in, easily find what they need, and get out. If feedback data shows dissatisfaction in this area, it calls for immediate attention.
How to improve: Check the busiest times of hour and day, and ensure that sufficient registers are open at peak times to maintain an efficient flow. Additionally, well-trained cashiers are essential in helping customer matters quickly and avoiding congestion.
In short, the well-known management adage “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” certainly rings true in that you need to ask your customers how they perceive your service performance in order to gauge how well you do. But we’d like to add a little extra: “data you can understand supports improvements you can trust.”