With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to evaluate your customer experience and align it with your in-store strategy. The idea of Customer Experience is really quite simple. It begins with the feeling and impression your customers have upon initial interaction with your store or business.
With the advent of online shopping, consumers are able to research you and your business prior to stepping foot into your brick-and-mortar establishment. Your website and social media accounts are the first touches your customers will experience with your business. When they walk through your door, the experience needs to match what they’ve seen in your marketing.
No matter how much money, time, and effort you spend on marketing, nothing will matter if the customer experience doesn’t match what the marketing promises.
- The competition is greater now due to the online resources consumers have when looking for a product or service.
- The ability to research your business to evaluate your customer’s experiences hinges on Yelp and Google Reviews. Your customers can “shop” from the comfort of an armchair miles from your establishment, based on the reviews they see online.
- Once inside your establishment, you have the power to build customer loyalty by making the shopping experience memorable, pleasant, and unique. The customer wants to return because there is no one else like you and your business.
A perfect example of the customer experience is the nail salon industry. According to Statista.com, there are a total of 54,386 nail salons and 395,658 nail technicians in the U.S. in 2018. Most likely, the manicure customer passed at least three nail salons on to the way to their salon of choice.
It is the customer experience that drives their selection.
- Is the salon clean and welcoming?
- Do they have the products I prefer?
- Does the technician know me and my preferences?
It is not the product and oftentimes, not the price that creates customer loyalty. It is truly the experience.
Customer experience impacts your bottom line.
Customer experience directly impacts the consumer’s spending habits and brand loyalty and it is almost 100% in your control. Place yourself in your customer’s shoes and walk through your business’ front door.
- Is your customer welcomed upon entry?
- If your customers are calling your business, how is that initial touch? Is your employee-friendly, polite, and helpful? Do customers have to spend any time waiting for answers?
- Is the store clean and easy to maneuver through so the customer can comfortably shop and locate key items that perhaps you have advertised?
- Think of your senses. Is the lighting bright and conducive to selling your products? Does the room smell warm and welcoming? Maybe a well-placed candle or spotlight highlighting a key product or display might drive the consumer to take a look? How’s the temperature?
- Are the shelves clean and stocked and any advertised sale or promotional items clearly visible and available?
- Are customers thanked for their business and asked to return?
All these things impact the shopping experience, customer loyalty, brand definition, and bottom-line profits.
At Cox Marketing Solutions we understand customer experience. The holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier each year, so now is the time to look at your establishment and create or fine-tune the customer experience that will ensure your customers keep coming back.
Not sure if your customer experience is where it should be? Contact us for a free one-hour consultation.