In a digital world where Amazon is King, one may be tempted to think that customer interaction and relationship building is swiftly becoming a thing of the past – False.
At a recent retail event I attended, one key trend highlighted was that whilst 80% of customers buy through clicks, 50% still buy from bricks (and that’s just in retail). Often people tend to forget that whilst retail is the most obvious application for gleaming customer service, it’s fundamentally important for any business on the high street or otherwise.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for doing it right:
- Don’t make the customer feel like a nuisance or like they are intruding in your space. It sounds like common sense, but recently I heard a horror story about a high street shop that keeps its door locked during normal opening hours. As a customer, you have to ring the bell and wait for someone to come and let you in. Understandably, they struggled with footfall and missed sales.
- Learn to gauge each customer or client as they come. It’s all well and good being at the top of your game for small talk and witty jokes, but sometimes people want to get in and out as quickly as possible and it’s important to respect that. This is where some sales coaching could potentially be of benefit if you feel you or your employees struggle with reading social cues.
- Equally, if you find the customer wants to engage but that’s a little out of your comfort zone; try to go at it with an open mind. Have a few go-to topics of conversation that you are confident on and be ready to speak passionately but honestly about what’s on offer. By being truthful you will begin to build trust and establish a relationship. This is the key to repeat custom.
- Body language says it all – if you don’t want to be there, try not to let it show. The best thing you can do is to be present in the moment and engaged actively with anyone you come in contact with. Sales role-play exercises may help you to look at your demeanour from an outside perspective.
- Mystery shop yourself periodically: review your staff, your shop and yourself from the point of view of the customer. Even if you think you have your own customer service down to a T, it’s important to look around at your employees to ensure they are delivering; to look at your shop to ensure it’s a nice place for the customer to be and to look at yourself to ensure you are challenging your team when they need it.
If you or your staff need support with anything mentioned above, please get in touch with one of our consultants on 028 9069 1027 and they will be more than happy to organise some coaching to help.