Everyone knows that customer satisfaction is important for a successful retail business. Finding personable, friendly, helpful employees for retail is critical. They keep customers happy and are a huge factor in repeat business and customer loyalty. Finding new customers is more costly than retaining current ones. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study, as reported in Docstoc.com, reported that even a 5 percent reclaim rate of lost customers can increase profits of up to 85 percent. It pays to pay attention to enhancing the customer experience.
Speed is important in satisfying customers, especially online. With so many customers shopping online, easy to navigate websites, clear information and ease of purchase are important. Everyone is busy, and if a customer can’t easily find what they want and purchase it in easy steps, they will go elsewhere. Retail shoppers are no longer restricted to the mall or corner store. They are quickly turning to virtual shopping on their PCs, tablets and smartphones. Speed and convenience are everything.
According to the survey, more customers are doing research on the Internet than taking the time to wander through retail stores looking over merchandise. In fact, according to the survey, 67 percent feel that valuing their time is the most important thing that retailers can do for customers. Customers can do research anytime, anywhere with a few clicks on the Internet. If the retailer’s website isn’t fast or user friendly, they won’t waste their time.
For retail employees, knowledge of the company’s retail operations, products and website is critical. If a customer can’t find what they want in the store, retail associates need to direct them to the company website where an item may be available.
Courtesy is another customer satisfier at the top of the list. Vandalay.com cited another Harvard Business Review study that showed 98 percent of retail workers were treated rudely. Listening to customers was number one, but acting quickly was second on the list. Slow, inefficient service may be the cause of the rudeness customers and service providers reported. Customers don’t want a response or resolution in 48 or 72 hours. They want it now. Adding live chat so customers can interact with a customer service representative in real time provides the type of speedy service required in a digital age.
If 98 percent of customers and service providers have been treated rudely, using common courtesy is another customer satisfier. Being patient, listening carefully and just saying please, thank you or other respectful phrases go a long way. You lose customers by being impatient, disrespectful and short-tempered. No one loses a customer by being courteous.
Customer service may take on a different look online, but customers still want the same things. Fast, clear service. Respect. Courtesy. A smile, friendly greeting and a fond farewell. After all, the customer keeps the doors open and pays for the online website and Internet connections. It isn’t complicated or difficult to deliver what the customer wants.
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