I love going to places where the service stands out. There’s something they do that makes this store different, maybe it’s obvious, maybe it’s not, but I walk out feeling they really cared and focussed on me as an individual.
Unfortunately, as I have reported a number of times, this level of service is getting harder to find. At the most crucial time where competition is at an all-time high, service has to be a priority as one of the key components of the shopper’s experience. If retailers can’t get service right, then it provides a perfect reason for a customer to simply go online.
Service is just one aspect of the customer’s experience, in my mind a very important part though. Retailers have to stand out from their competition, otherwise all the customer has to judge them on is the price. And we all know where that battle ends up, it’s a race to the bottom and only those retailers with deep pockets will survive.
In the words of the famous Beechworth Baker, Tom O’Toole who puts it simply – “If you are not utterly determined to stand out, you’re history. There are too many me-too businesses out there.”
Here’s a couple of tips on how you can differentiate from your competition:
1) By offering amazing consistent customer service. This sounds easy, and lots of businesses think they do when they don’t. Your team needs to understand what amazing service is, how they can deliver it and why it’s important to the customer.
Once you have these steps in place you are just starting, it’s all about putting this amazing service into place every hour of every single day. Think of the Apple Stores, they are the closest to being at this level.
2) Experiential retail. This is a game changer and very few companies are getting this right. Combining technology with knowledgeable and passionate staff is the answer here. Millennials are wanting more and more experiences on their shopping expeditions and when they find it, they will buy, come back and instantly message their friends.
If retailers can nail these two key things, they are going to be well ahead of their competition and consistently providing an exceptional level of amazing customer service.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.