Brick-and-mortar was hit hard in the beginning of the pandemic, and while we still aren’t out of the woods, in-store operations have begun to resume in areas deemed safe. Many retailers are focused on making up for lost time by improving their in-store customer experience.
Customers are still wary of venturing outside of their homes because of the current health crisis. In order to bring them to your store, you will need to make it worth the risk. You can do this by providing a phenomenal, customer-focused experience that keeps them safe and satisfied.
Boost Customer Engagement
It’s just as important—if not more so—to keep your loyal customers as it is to bring in new ones. You want to make sure your loyal customers stay loyal, and to do that, you must engage with them often. Loyalty rewards programs are great ways to help you engage with your customers regularly. They also provide you with accurate data on customer behavior, which you can use to strengthen your relationships and offer more personalized shopping experiences.
It’s also important to stay in communication with your customers, letting them know of any changes to your store hours, safety policies and procedures, and inventory. You can also clue them in on promotions they may find valuable and sales they may be interested in.
Customer engagement doesn’t stop at a loyalty program, however. It’s important to increase online visibility and broaden your reach through the use of social media platforms. These allow you to expand awareness of your brand, communicate with customers, and inform follows of hot new deals. You can also answer questions from customers, market your business, and gain valuable information that can help you create more profitable promotions. All of this works together to help build a strong base of loyal customers.
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Leverage Cutting-Edge Tech
The right technology can take your retail business to new levels. High-quality devices like kiosks and mobile tablets can effectively limit in-person contact by automating tasks. Manual processes are often slow and inefficient. By automating these tasks, you can free up workers to focus on more important tasks, like helping customers.
Kiosks especially can help amplify the customer experience and improve customer engagement. These devices give customers a more hands-on experience by allowing them to look up product information, find new products, and place orders.
Beyond engaging with customers, kiosks can actually help you increase sales. You can leverage automated upselling prompts that notify users of items they might be interested in based on their purchase history. If the customer is looking for an item that is out-of-stock, kiosks can recommend related items that they may desire. Customers can make purchases right at the kiosk and have items delivered to their homes or to your store for pickup.
Armed with mobile POS devices like mobile tablets, employees can also build better relationships with customers. Tablets give employees instant access to critical information that they can use to help customers find the products they desire. They can also look up customer loyalty information so that they can make personalized recommendations that will help increase sales and customer satisfaction.
Focus on Offering Better Service
The customer experience largely hinges on the level of customer service they have received. For this reason, it is absolutely imperative that you train your staff well so that they know how to better handle customer interactions.
While the pandemic is still a concern, it is important that your employees stay safe and your customers feel protected. Ensure they are wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks. They should be prioritizing safety and sanitary practices above all else. Customers should know from the minute they walk into your store that you prioritize their safety, and they should be able to tell this by how clean your facility is and how safety-conscious your staff is.
Train your staff well to ensure they are informed and up-to-date on product information so that they can answer customer questions and make the appropriate recommendations every time. When employees are well-trained and well-informed, they are much more likely to be confident and engaged when handling customers.
Lastly, take care of your employees. A happy employee is an engaged employee. When employees feel like they are safe, informed, and taken care of, they will do their jobs well and will take pride in the work that they accomplish each day. Employee loyalty is important, so try to make accommodations for your staff wherever possible, especially during tough times. Make sure they know you care about them. Talk to them often and get to know the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis, so that you can solve these issues and improve the success of your overall operation.
Elevating the Experience:
It takes a lot for a retail operation to stay successful and competitive, especially in times of uncertainty and hardship. While things may not go back to normal in the foreseeable future, there are still steps that you can take to improve your business and boost the customer experience.
Touch Dynamic offers a range of resources and devices that can help you achieve retail success. For more information, contact the experts at Touch Dynamic today.