A positive customer experience doesn’t always have to require a complicated, multilayered engagement strategy. In fact, if your business contains a brick and mortar component, the best approach to improving the customer experience can be as simple as greeting customers when they enter your storefront and walking them to the product they’re looking for. Do that, and you’ll be surprised at the positive impact on your organization’s bottom line.
A number of years ago, a friend at a Fortune 500 “big-box” retailer was asked by her senior management to come up with some suggestions to improve the quality of the customer experience during the holiday season. She called me and asked for some suggestions.
Since her company measured customer satisfaction by issuing survey invitations at the register, I requested she obtain all the customer satisfaction surveys for the last quarter that were conducted in their consumer electronics department. Among the survey questions they asked, two were of particular interest: Were you greeted when you entered the department? And did the person who greeted you walk you to the product that you wished to purchase?
People who were both greeted and walked to the product they wanted to purchase spent 20 percent more on that visit than all other consumer electronics customers. Given these findings, our recommendation was simple: Add extra staff at peak hours to ensure that shoppers in the consumer electronics department are greeted when they enter and walked to the product they wish to purchase.
And let’s not forget about two additional critical elements in retailing: conversion rates and repurchase.
We know, for example, that one of the prime reasons customers give for walking into a store with the intent to make a purchase—and subsequently walking out without buying anything—is that no one acknowledged them when they walked into the store. In addition, people who are greeted and walked to the product not only have a higher ticket average, they also have customer satisfaction ratings (percent top-box) that are approximately 20 percentage points higher than customer who do not experience these two behaviors. Higher top-box satisfaction leads to more visits to the store in the future.
Once all of the data is organized and parsed, the lesson from the above example is clear. At busy times of the year, investing in additional labor hours to ensure that customers are both greeted when they enter the store and walked to the product they wish to purchase is money well spent. It results in increased customer satisfaction, greater conversion, higher ticket average and more meaningful interactions for your store.
Greeting prospective customers and walking them to the product they’re looking for provides three critical benefits to a retailer. It increases the likelihood that someone entering your store will actually make a purchase (conversion rate), it increases the amount they spend on their purchase (ticket average), and by enhancing customer satisfaction, it the increases the likelihood that the customer will return to your store in the future (repurchase intent).
Taking the time to cultivate strong relationships with the customer, especially during the busy holiday season, will provide benefits that will continue to accrue well into the coming year.