How to Make Your Retail Store a Success

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Retail store|How to Make Your Retail Store a SuccessLaunching and creating a store that sells clothes and other accessories is fantastic. It provides you with the chance to help customers find clothing that makes them feel happy and good about themselves, and it helps you earn a living too.

Whether you sell clothes that others have designed, or you make and sell your own clothing lines, setting up a store is one of the best ways to market what you have got to offer.

However, with so much competition out there, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Taking time to create a store that is appealing and attractive to customers will ensure you get a decent footfall to your store (if you have a physical location). The same applies if you have an online presence either through your own website or selling platform. It has to be attractive and enticing, or people will not want to visit your store if it is not appealing to them.

Pay attention to the small details

In a physical store, this can be anything from the signage you use to the fixtures and fittings that you will use, including Retail & Display Mannequins that show your products off. Don’t underestimate how products can affect the design of your shop, and don’t underestimate how much lighting and color schemes can affect your customers. It can influence how long people browse for and, most importantly, whether they purchase or not.

Focus on your customers

Customers can make or break a store, so ensure your customers are at the heart of your business. Ensure that every customer has a good experience. Consistency and quality are very important in customer care and satisfaction. Unhappy customers can lose you business very quickly, so keep your customers happy. Monitor your customer care and service, and always ask existing customers for feedback. Any feedback you get will help you see where you are doing well and also where they may be any underlying problems or issues.

Stay competitive

You have a good product, so you will always get customers, right? Well, no, having a good product is one thing, but staying ahead of the competition is another. Very soon, there will be others emerging in your market, so you need to stay ahead of the game. You need to be introducing new stock that keeps your store fresh, and you need to be doing at least one product launch a year. A good product launch will keep your customers happy and keep them coming back for more time and time again.

Don’t be greedy

Making money is of course, nice, but people should always come over and before profit. It is much better to build a store that you will get repeat custom from overtime, than to be greedy and build a store that is here one minute and gone the next, or one that sells products at highly inflated prices. Opening a store is a marathon, not a sprint, so work hard to build relationships over time to help you make a living.

How to Build Customer Relations That Cannot Be Broken

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |build customer relations |How to Build Customer Relations That Cannot Be BrokenAre you a switcher?

Switchers are unhappy customers who switch from one company to another. Across the nation, businesses are losing close to $62 billion every year because of switchers.

As a business owner, you work hard to provide your customers with incredible experiences. However, sometimes things that are outside of your control are going to happen. Thankfully, business owners can learn to build customer relations that survive bad experiences.

Are you ready to find out how to create loyal customers? Read on to find out the secret to building resilient customer relations.

Build Customer Relations

The first step in learning to build customer relations that last is by knowing where you stand.

Here’s a short quiz to evaluate your company’s current customer relations:

  1. Are your customers recommending your company to family and friends?
  2. Are you attracting new customers regularly?
  3. Do you have a positive customer retention rate?

If you can’t answer yes to the questions above it’s probably because you need to improve your customer service in one or more areas. If you want to be a customer service expert, that means you want to build meaningful relationships with your clientele. Depending on the nature of your business and the budget you have at hand, you can achieve this goal by investing in phone systems for small business or training your employees to improve their customer service. Any of these strategies will require resources from your business, but as long as they’re implemented with consistency, these can serve as bridges for your business upon which to build customer relations.

The best way to lay the foundation for any relationship, whether business or personal, is with trust — and it’ll be very easy for customers to trust your brand if you prioritize their needs and provide excellent customer service whenever they reach out to you.

Be Real With Your Customers

Customers can’t trust you if they don’t know who you are. One of the biggest steps in learning to build customer relations involves learning to be yourself.

Customers want to know the real you. While it’s true you can’t come to work and behave the same way you might at home, this doesn’t mean you have to be fake. Authenticity will go a long way with each of your customer interactions.

If you want to be real with your customers, start by letting them know what your business does and what your brand is. Are you a business that prioritizes customer service? Or do you want to be known as a business that provides high-quality products and services? Regardless of what you want your business to become in the eyes of the public, it’s important that you communicate this message properly.

As a business, you should be real with your customers by setting their expectations and letting them know what your business can and can’t do. Transparency is always key when building customer relationships with your target audience.

Ask the Right Questions

One way you can be truly authentic with your customers is by asking them questions that matter. Let’s say for instance that you work in the hospitality industry.

As the customer is getting ready to leave your hotel, ask them, “Will we be seeing you again soon?”. After you ask the question, be quiet and give your customers a chance to answer. There are typically 3 answers your customer will give; Yes, Maybe and No.

Aside from building customer relations that can’t be broken, asking the right questions at the right time can also help your business improve its process. The information you can gain from your customers during this phase can help your business streamline its efforts, so you’ll end up providing products and services that suit your customers’ needs and wants.

Retaining Happy Customers

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. You can always ask customers if they’ll be bringing their business to you again.

If the customer says, “yes”, you’ll know you provided A-class service. However, just because a customer says they’ll return, that doesn’t mean you should end the conversation.

A happy customer is likely to want to share details about their interactions with your company and employees. Taking the time to listen to a customer talk about their positive experience, shows them you truly care. If the competition isn’t willing to really listen, you’ll instantly have a loyal customer.

You can also use the conversation as an opportunity to learn more about what you’re doing that’s working. Perhaps the customer loved the way you packaged their documents, or they enjoy your user-friendly website. The more feedback you can get from customers, the easier it’ll be to keep making them happy.

Winning Back Unhappy Customers

Let’s pretend you ask a customer if they’ll be returning to your business and they say, “maybe”, or “no”. When a customer feels comfortable saying they’re unhappy, you have a golden opportunity to win them back. However, it’s a delicate situation and you have to be careful to position yourself correctly in the conversation.

Contrary to popular belief, winning back unhappy customers is an attainable task. When you come across unhappy customers, take the time to listen to their concerns or complaints. Often, customers are unhappy about a specific business if they were unsatisfied with the products or services given to them. If this is the reason why your customer is unhappy, provide a guarantee that your business will do better moving forward.

Stop Saying Sorry

You never want the customer to feel as if you’re arguing with them or pushing them to choose your company. This is why you should avoid saying “sorry”, and instead show sincerity by actively listening.

Statements like, “I’m sorry to hear that”, can sound like an excuse to customers. It’s also a bad idea to say sorry since you don’t know what the customer’s experience was yet.

One of the best ways to have difficult conversations with customers, is by asking open-ended questions. An open-ended question is one that you cannot answer by saying yes or no. Instead, open-ended questions cause people to think, speak, and reflect on how they’re feeling.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

After a customer tells you they might not be returning to your company, or they’re not coming back, politely ask them why they won’t be returning. You can say, “I don’t want to bother you, we pride ourselves on the experience. Please tell me, why wouldn’t you come back?”

The main idea here is to ask an open-ended question that will help reveal the full story of your customer’s experience. After the customer explains why they’re unsatisfied, make sure you reply with a real response, not something fake.

To keep it real, avoid having employees use scripted responses. Instead, summarize and speak back the story you just heard to the customer. Now, they’ll know you were listening, and they’ll be able to offer any details they may have left out.

Express Genuine Interest

Chances are you’re super excited about the product or service you have to offer customers. Your excitement is contagious and people want to know that you care about your brand and your products. When you’re interacting with your customers, listen more than you talk.

Focus on Customers Life

When you speak with customers, the majority of the conversation should focus on things that have to do with the customer on a personal level. Ask the customer how they are doing, how their family is, what life goals they’re achieving, and so on. If you’re providing a service for their business, find out how their company’s doing.

The more you can learn about your customers, the more you’ll be able to find ways to provide value to them in your relationship. Oftentimes, companies fall into the trap of promoting their specials or deals or packages to customers that don’t need it.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Actively listening to your customers will help you avoid suggesting products or services they don’t need. Sure, a company’s package deal may be great for somebody looking to get a bundle, but what if the customer just wants to buy one thing?

If employees try to push the package deal on them, the customer may leave upset, or worse buy the product and not get enough value. A customer that doesn’t feel heard, or doesn’t receive value from your company, isn’t going to come back.

Small Words Big Sales

Listen to your customers, the smallest things they say can sometimes lead to the biggest sales. Not only will you get sales opportunities, but you’ll also be building meaningful relationships.

Another benefit of listening closely is you’ll create a work culture that cares about the customer first. When new customers see the way you treat your existing customers, don’t want to be a part of it.

Strengthen Every Relationship

Now you know how to use expert customer service to build customer relations. Taking the time to listen to what people have to say, is one of the strongest ways to show you care.

Remember, customer relationships aren’t static, they’re always changing. For more ways to keep up with your customers in the ever-changing market, check out the rest of the site.

Are You Giving Your Customers What They Deserve?

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customers|Are You Giving Your Customers What They Deserve?Your customers are the backbone of your business. They make sure profit is trailing in and out of your company, and they help to make sure your website is ranked at the top of google, with the amount of traffic that flows in and out of your ecommerce option day by day. Indeed, you start a business with the sole aim of finding and obtaining customer loyalty, to find the market that your product suits the best, and to guarantee they come back again and again.

And if you feel that customer loyalty is in short supply around here, it’s time to look into one of the most potential reasons why: your customers feel they aren’t getting what they deserve. They come to you for a good experience and a great product, and a couple of their expectations are falling short. But why? Well, let’s examine the idea below.

Are Your Prices Right?

Your customers may feel they’re getting a better deal elsewhere, or they feel they have the potential to from taking just one look at the prices lining your shelves. They might feel you’re overselling your products, and they’re not getting value for money, and they might just hate you for it!

So it’s key to research the market you’re operating in as well as the local area you’ll be selling from. If you’re an online only store, you need to know your niche, and the common prices across it; you’ll need to try and match them, as closely as possible. And if you’ve got a physical location as well, make sure your prices don’t stick out like a sore thumb on the high street.

Are You Shipping on Time?

Your customers may feel they aren’t being treated right in the delivery process. They might feel it takes way too long to receive their packages, or they might feel that it costs a lot of money for something they’ve bought to be shipped out to them. Of course, unless you’re offering international delivery, your customers will likely find it steep for you to be charging more than $3 for national shipping.

You can get quite a nice discount deal with various shippers, if you’re worried about not being able to get costs down. Even using third party logistics companies could work well for you – navigating away from the mainstream delivery has a high chance of saving you some pennies, so don’t be afraid to use a different shipment company to get your products out there.

Are You Offering the Right Rewards?

Finally, your customers may feel their loyalty is unrewarded, and thus, they stop shopping with you and go somewhere they feel appreciated. And this could be solved with a simple rewards program! Money off coupons, free products upon collecting enough stamps, etc. These are all viable options to keep your market interested.

Make sure your customers are getting what they deserve from you. Guarantee a good experience and they’ll come back for more.

Developing Trust With Your Customers

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Service|Developing Trust With Your CustomersPeople tend to think that it’s the quality of a company’s products or services that determine how much success they’re going to have. And it’s true that they are important, but if a business is going to reach its full potential, then there has to be a solid foundation of trust between the company and its customers. Without it, there’s only so far that they can go — and it really isn’t all that far. As such, it’s important that you’re taking steps to develop your customer’s faith in your business. We take a look at a few ways how below.

Make Yourself Available

You could have the best products at the best prices, but if there’s no-one there to answer the questions and concerns of your customers, then there will be a trust issue. If you’re running a business exclusively online, then make no mistake: you need to make yourself available. People are understandably cautious when it comes to buying online, so you really need to show them that you’re trustworthy. If you have a phone number they can call, and answer your email and social media comments quickly, then you’ll be on the right path.

Consistent Performances

Trust is built over time. A new company has no credibility; with them, it could go either way. You can’t win your customer’s trust overnight — you have to do it by offering a high level of service over an extended period. They need to see that you’re reliable. This can happen in various ways: first, you can just build up your website, and your positive reviews. That takes time. You’ll also need to be reliable in other ways, such as always being online. People have doubts if a site is always going offline and/or is slow, so make sure you’re working with a company that offers managed IT services. They’ll ensure that you’re always online and ready for business.

Do What You Say You’ll Do

It’s all good and well promising a customer the world, but if you can’t deliver it, then you’ll end up doing more harm than good. People prefer honesty over boasts! If delivery is going to realistically going to take five days rather than three, then make sure they know it. You don’t impress anyone by telling them how good you are — you just have to show them, and let them come to their own conclusions.

Handling Problems

It doesn’t matter how watertight your ship might seem, eventually you’re going to run into a mistake that affects a customer. This doesn’t have to be the end of the world, providing you take care of the issue. People are pretty forgiving so long as the business does all that’s within its power to rectify the mistake.

Build Your Authority

Finally, look at building your authority. If you know a lot about your products and services, then share the knowledge through blogs, podcasts, and your social media accounts. You’ll quickly become trusted as the go-to company in your field.