Knowing what’s going on in the world of retail is critical to the growth of your business – but it isn’t always easy.
If we had a nickel for every time we heard a shopper complain about customer service we’d be richer than Bill Gates. Do customers exaggerate? You betcha, but there’s always a trail to follow if you listen carefully and then piece together what they tell you.
As a retailer, here are 7 important things you should be doing regularly to listen to your customers.
Invite 10 to 15 customers to participate in your focus group. Serve refreshments and have a list of questions ready to keep the conversation moving. Reward each participant a cash reward, plus a small gift valued at around $20.
Station yourself near the front door and when a shopper is about to leave, politely introduce yourself and ask if he/she found everything he/she was looking for. Exit interviews are great for getting a shopper’s opinion of your service and identifying products customers wish you carried.
Encourage Customer Feedback
Place “Tell Us What You Think!” cards on your cash wrap, in classrooms and on your website for customers to fill out. Add a poll to your Facebook timeline. Give customers every opportunity to tell you what they think.
Ask associates to fill you in on what they’re hearing on the sales floor. Place a notebook in the lunchroom and at the cash wrap so they can easily record customer comments.
Ask The BIG Question
You’ll get incredibly useful information when you ask our BIG question: “What ONE thing could we do to ___________?” You fill in the blank. Try “What ONE thing could we do to improve our customer service?” or “What ONE class or event could we add that you would like to attend?” You will hear constructive things you’ll be able to easily implement.
Fly On The Wall Exercise
The idea here is to blend in and become just another shopper. Let associates in on what you’re doing because they need to pretend that you’re not there. Station yourself in prime shopping spots on the sales floor and just watch. Carry a notebook to record what you see so you can address changes you’d like to make later on.
Listen, Watch & React
Engaging and connecting with customers means listening to what they have to say, watching what they do on the sales floor, and making changes based on what you find. React by giving them a fun and easy experience that’s unique to your store.
About the Authors
Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail marketplace. For more information about KIZER & BENDER, visit www.kizerandbender.com.
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