Customer service is an essential part of your in-store experience. How your staff serves customers can drive people away and make them never return or it can enhance the buying experience and encourage shoppers to buy more.
Good customer service comes with training, but there are a few other ways you can help your staff out.
Here are five ways you can use in-store marketing to support your staff and improve customer service to grow your sales in both the short and long run.
1. Communicate Relevant Information Through Signage
Does your staff answer the same questions every day? Do they grow weary of having to say the same thing over and over again? This process can frustrate your employees and actually create a negative customer experience if they start answering rudely or are short with customers. Plus, there is an easy solution to prevent this.
Look at your signage and see if there are ways to communicate your most frequent questions. These can range from the extra cost of guacamole to how often customers should change their oil.
Adding information to your digital signage won’t eliminate every question, but if it cuts down on the majority of them then you are making progress.
If your customer service team has to answer fewer questions throughout the day, they have more time to address important issues and concerns with other customers. This means they provide better customer care and increase the chances that shoppers return in the future.
2. Set the Mood to Make Customers Stick Around
As a business owner, you have the power to create an environment that makes customers want to spend more time in your location. You can choose engaging overhead music, add aromatherapy that calms customers, and invest in comfortable seating or decor that appeals to the majority of people.
These environmental upgrades and decorations turn a visit into an experience.
People can extend the time they spend in your store and have positive emotions related to your location. Decorations can also help improve your customer service. Happier and calmer customers are nicer to your staff. They are more willing to discuss problems and agree to compromises. Look around and see if you are creating a hostile environment in your store, office, or waiting room. A few small changes can calm customers, creating a better experience with your staff.
3. Strategically Place Cross-sells and Impulse Buys
Visit a few of your competitors to see how they encourage customers to spend more. Strategic businesses promote various other items and options near their top products to convince customers to buy more.
For a few examples:
- Target places jewelry near their clothing section, with smaller sections next to clothes to encourage pairings.
- Victoria’s Secret and TJ Maxx place minor impulse buys in the check out line so customers spend a few more dollars while they wait.
- Spas recommend their locations, oils, and soaps when their customers pay, adding products to their service menu.
- Auto repair shops encourage cleanings and routine maintenance alongside repairs for better-performing cars.
Your store layout can make it easier for your staff to offer better customer service. They can recommend a product easily because it’s only a few feet away. They can also guide customers through the buying process if they aren’t familiar with your brand.
Decide what you want to promote or how you want to cross-sell products. You can also talk to your staff for ideas. Then change your store to create a better flow that encourages customers to buy.
4. Tell Shoppers to Get Social
There are many benefits to getting your customers to connect with your brand on social media. Your name can stay top-of-mind as people see your name multiple times throughout the month, and you can share your latest products and services to lure them back to your store.
However, there is an additional benefit that you can consider when promoting your social channels -- customer service.
- A third of customers prefer social media for their questions or comments than phone or email and two-thirds of customers have turned to social media looking for resolutions for issues.
- Ninety percent (90%) of businesses say they use social media for customer service.
- Customers spend an average of 20-40% more with companies who engage with them on social media.
Place social media icons throughout your store and encourage fans to follow your brand, ask questions, and leave feedback.
Taking the discussion online also helps you sell to new customers who can see how you care about your existing customers and want to help them. In-store marketing can lead to positive online advertising and customer care.
5. Encourage Customers to Provide Feedback
Seventy percent (70%) of the customer journey is dictated by how a customer feels like they are being treated. When your customers feel welcomed and cared for, they are likely to return. One of the best ways to evaluate whether or not you need to adjust the customer experience or improve your store is with direct feedback.
Set up customer surveys at the front of your store and encourage your staff to direct customers to take them. You can do this through paper comment cards or digital surveys on touchscreen kiosks. Additionally, you can take anonymous feedback throughout the experience. Ask customers to rate the dressing rooms in your retail location by pressing one button or rate the state of your bathrooms.
This data gives you direct insight into how your customers view your store and how you can improve the customer experience. Plus, taking action through these surveys shows that you care and want to build a positive environment that welcomes all shoppers.
Learn How In-Store Marketing Helps Other Aspects of Your Brand
In-store marketing helps your brand in so many ways, not just with improving customer experiences.
To learn more about how you can improve the in-store experience, regardless of your industry or business size, check out our ebook: The Ultimate Guide to In-Store Marketing. You can use this information to grow your sales, improve loyalty, and help your staff create a better experience for anyone who walks through your door.