Retailers often struggle with understanding their customers’ needs. There’s no crystal ball, and it’s difficult to formulate the right questions to ask them. But listening to what customers want and why is the key to unlock a store’s fullest potential.
What Do You Know About Your Customers?
It takes time and energy to learn more about each customer. Having them answer these simple questions can lead to some surprising results.
- Who are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- When do they buy?
- Why do they buy?
- What do they think about your competitors?
One way to gather these answers is giving frequent surveys through email and in the store. You may find some patterns in their demographics and purchasing habits. And this information will bolster your marketing efforts while positioning popular items and services with more visibility. Best of all, if you know what your customers think about your competition, then you will always stay one step ahead of the pack.
Your Customers’ Expectations
Your customers’ expectations center around their experience and what it should be like from the moment they step foot in your store and beyond the sale. They want to feel important.
You can achieve this by giving them a more personalized experience. Research shows that they will gladly pay extra for it. For furniture stores, a good example of personalization would be to give customers free or discounted furniture cleaner and free How-To-Guides on care of their purchases.
Great service is more than quickly moving people through the checkout line. Greet them and be inviting, even if you are busy, because showing them you care makes them feel welcome and relaxed. Being available for questions or simple conversation is a way of catering to them. It’s what they expect.
Another way to make them feel important is to listen to them. Take feedback about their experience and implement changes necessary to make it better. They will feel like someone is actually listening, which lets them know that they are appreciated.
One thing to always remember is to be honest, because customers hate to be misled. This will happen when you overpromise and underdeliver, or don’t share important information. Staying on top of your services and scheduling can prevent mistakes. Also, customers don’t like hidden costs and fees, so be up front with all pricing to avoid a negative review that can lead to fewer sales.
Be a Resource; Be an Expert
With all of the technology and resources available, each of your salespeople should have the expertise and training to provide the best service possible. If they don’t know enough about the products and services they are selling, then your customers will quickly lose interest. Your salespeople may need more time to learn, but think of it as a good investment. In the end, your customers will find you to be more of a resource for them and tell their friends about your store.