Retailers and their customers certainly have the jitters. Consumer confidence is down with interest rates and inflation on the rise causing customers to tighten their belts. Combine this with what is going on overseas and it’s not hard to see why consumers are hesitant to spend their money on retail purchases.
Not only is it hard to get customers to come into physical stores, they have to receive great service every time. This is why, whenever a customer makes the effort to visit a store, their experience has to be so much better than what they received online. Otherwise, it’s so much more convenient, easier and faster to simply return to shopping online.
Online sales continue to grow as customers enjoy the ease of shopping via this platform. With faster delivery options, online is a key part of every retailers offer. Yet the research tells us that even younger shoppers still prefer to shop in a physical store, particularly when they need to try products on.
This is not the time to cut back on staffing levels or lose focus on setting clear and high expectations for team members. Retailers need to invest in ensuring they exceed customer expectations to the level they have never been to before.
This requires investment in people, technology and processes that will enhance and improve how customers do business with retailers. Retailers have to ensure that every customer interaction, be it online or in store, is seamless. This requires an integrated approach to ensure the customer enjoys an effective customer experience every step of the way.
Until retailers think about the customer’s expectations in every function across every part of their journey, customers will not receive an integrated excellent experience. And that just means they will simply move on and shop elsewhere.
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.