Visit to a retail store is a daily affair, and retailers are continuously finding out ways to woo and charm customers. There is no limit to innovation, and we can find tireless efforts from retailers to give the best shot for an amazing shopping experience, from offers and promotions, loyalty points, express checkouts, to privilege lounges and partner freebies. I am very sure that most of us in tier 1 and now in tier 2 cities usually visit nearby departmental stores, supermarkets, or hyper stores for our daily needs. We are out for casual visit, and even find ourselves loaded up with necessary or unnecessary stuff, and that’s the outcome of the retailer’s efforts for a great shopping experience.
But, do the retailers actually bother and actually succeed in maintaining the same shopping experience?
With the ever increasing loads on the floors, there are experiences which go haywire for the customers. Be it a weekend rush, longer queues, lousy billing staff, even a smallest hitch can destroy the shopping experience and make us feel it could have been better.
Particularly in a retail store, these things are common, and the retailers seriously need to understand many things to avoid any sort of bad experience to a customer, big or small. Even a few customers lost in a day can actually show a drop in the retail numbers.
Here are the top 20 things which retailers MUST work upon to actually avoid customers being unhappy:
1. Stop blaming the IT systems over billing. “System down…system slow”… this line is actually an upset of experience to the customer who had taken efforts to come to your store, select merchandise, stand in the queue, and at last, alas….. I remember leaving my cart abandoned quite a few times (though finally good for nothing )
2. Stop answering a plain NO or YES, and specially, I DON’T KNOW. Your job is to educate and inform the customer, not shut the discussion off.
3. Do not keep calling another guy, then another one, and so on… you are expected to be equally educated. (This stands good for service call centers too… a toll free number doesn’t mean I enjoy this music, and you MUST know the value of your customers time)
4. For call centers, PLEASE Stop repeating “Thanks for the information….I hope that your questions are answered… and so on” after every sentence. Don’t even waste time in asking how the customers are, you seriously can get punches if you are on face.
5. Do not disappear please after holding a customer. I remember I actually hanged on for 25 minutes to get a specific color (thanks to WhatsApp to hang up with me), and the guy dint showed up (color neither)
6. Do not direct customer towards a notice board, or a signage. You can take up a few seconds to actually explain, make customers feel homely and not “aliens which keep you on job till 11”
7. Don’t be ignorant after you have sold. If you can save even a single line of unnecessary conversation, that’s a big experience to a customer and relief to your own mouth.
8. Keep the billing counters neat and clean rather than packing them up with unbilled remains.
9. Don’t stack up with your colleagues amidst the shopping area. Do your job and let your colleagues do it too.
10. Don’t ever try to ask the customer about their budget, and don’t lose interest in informing a customer about a product even if you think he seems not interested or without budget. You are the brand ambassadors at the floor and it’s your duty to preach your brand. The urge to buy something increases if a customer lacks on budget, and chances are very high he buys it from you only if was satisfied with your information the very first day.
11. Mind your uniform, or attire. You are the face of your store.
12. For the financial service ones, please train your execs not to chase customers like a tail in retail stores for credit cards, insurance and holidays, specially, PLEASE DO NOT plead your targets to the customers.
13. Do not try to fake customers. If you don’t know something, please accept. You must be aware that customers are smarter these days and are more aware about the products they want to buy than you.
14. Never argue with the customers. If a customer is not interested in something, try to engage him in what he wants to buy, rather than pushing unnecessary junkies over.
15. Be polite, and never show irritation if a customer asks too many questions. You are there to assist a customer after all.
16. Do not directly ask for contact details, rather find out first if the customer is willing to be contacted.
17. Never sing in front of your customers if you are at a pause because your system is booting up. If you think you are good at it, you probably have landed up in a wrong profession.
18. Never favor someone jump over a queue, until it is absolutely necessary (have seen store stewards getting little carts billed out of the blues), it’s unpleasant to other customers who are standing for their turn.
19. Keep your trial cubicles clean, and don’t stack up that last one in the row, you must have got a backstore meant for it.
20. You know how much you bill on an average daily, please keep that stationary near the printers, or at least in close proximity. You know, if I had been in a queue for 20 minutes, and now you are lost for that piece of paper, it actually boils me.
21. And most important, don’t wait for a customer to request you to open up that “Closed” billing bay. A Closed billing counter and even a few customers queuing up isn’t a good customer experience.
Hope our dear retailers read this and take a few moments to think over…