Retail businesses, both big and small, should understand that their fortunes are directly tied to the happiness of their customers. In a time when more and more companies are focusing their energies on the digital marketplace, and human interactions have taken a backseat to online processes, it’s easy to forget that people are what matter most in business. Our customers are our lifeblood, and their opinions keep us alive.
But how can a small business compete with their larger competitors? The answer might lie in the customer experience. One of the best ways to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace is by building a customer-centered experience from start to finish. Improvements to the customer experience and merchant services can give you the edge you need to outmaneuver your rivals.
Identify your core values
When crafting a new customer experience strategy, you don’t have to throw your old playbook away. Small adjustments to your vision can ripple throughout the organization. You just need to rewrite your guiding principles in a way that places the focus on the customer.
Your business decisions must be guided by a set of core values that dictate how you present yourself to the world. For example, Google’s company culture was guided by one simple statement: Don’t be evil. They wanted to avoid the excesses of other tech companies and instead focused on creating products that worked for the consumer.
Once you’ve identified your core values, they will guide how your business operates. Every customer-facing employee should be familiar with your company’s principles and turn to them to guide their conduct.
Focus on building emotional connections
The customer’s purchase decision is often guided by emotion rather than logic. If you want to achieve a great customer experience, you need to focus on building positive emotional connections. Customers will return if they know they can expect a pleasant experience from your business and have formed an emotional attachment with your brand.
Ask for feedback
The only way to tell if your experience strategy is working is to ask for feedback from your customers. For instance, you can ask customers to fill out a feedback form after a transaction. You can also use send a post-transaction survey for online interactions. Direct calls also allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the customer experience.
Turn incidents into opportunities
Mistakes happen all the time, and you can take advantage of these incidents to create an unforgettable customer experience. Always aim to provide a solution, even if the mistake was the customer’s fault. You want to show to people that you care for your customers, and going above and beyond what’s expected of you can improve goodwill.
Make room in your budget for these sorts of happy incidents, and give your customer-facing employees some leeway in providing solutions and fixing problems.
Ensuring a great customer experience can be more effective than million-dollar marketing campaigns. As long as you focus on improving customer goodwill, you’ll see a positive impact on customer retention, loyalty, and revenue growth.