This week we feature an article by Patrick Thuot who shares an infographic about how customer service can help the retail industry. A customer-centric approach can help any type of business succeed. – Shep Hyken
With the proliferation of the Internet and the ubiquity of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, the whole retail industry has experienced huge disruption. It has meant that brick-and-mortar stores are now competing with online retailers where location is not an issue. This translates to offline retailers having to fight back to create an offering that will entice their customers to come in. Encouraging the public to come in-store isn’t easy in today’s world when a consumer can easily log onto a website and order just about anything they want as they commute, as they work, or even as they lie in bed.
To entice those customers to come in-store requires there to be something worth coming in for. So, in today’s world, we hear a lot about “experiential marketing” in terms of retail. More and more offline retailers are focusing on creating an experience in-store that will encourage customers to not only come in but also to return again and again. Things like in-store fashion advisors or coffee stations are examples of this, but retailers are constantly trying to think of new ways to get customers to walk through the doors. While these examples and suggestions might appear a little fleeting, one thing that will definitely encourage customers to return repeatedly is excellent customer service.
This is the major advantage that brick-and-mortar stores have over their online counterparts, in that the customer will come face-to-face with someone who can assist. This offers an opportunity to delight the customer. Of course, excellent customer service doesn’t just happen; it requires training and it requires the position and viewpoint of customer service policy to be well-defined.
Staff will require ongoing training, and there should be regular customer service reviews to ensure that it is all working well across the store(s). If mistakes are made, and there will always be customer service missteps along the way, it’s vital that the management and staff learn from the mistakes. Roleplaying is a great way to train staff, but management might even consider a third party to come in to cover some training at the onset. This infographic from the guys at Storetraffic aims to bring focus to retailers in relation to customer service in their brick-and-mortar businesses. It highlights some important statistics that indicate how important excellent customer service is, details how to strategize a customer service policy within your organization, and it focuses on some expert advice on the area. Check out the graphic for more.
Patrick Thuot is Vice President of Storetraffic. Storetraffic provides software and hardware to businesses who wish to use people traffic counting data to improve their service levels and more.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Macy’s Big Magic Trick: How The World’s Largest Store Keeps Its Customers Coming Back