Adapting to the next new normal in retail: The customer experience imperative
A huge surge in COVID-19 omicron variant cases has led to dramatic shifts in consumer behavior and created new uncertainty across the globe. Retail Businesses and brands will have to work hard to meet ever-evolving customer experience requirements in order to succeed and stay relevant.
Did you know that returning customers spend 67 percent more than first-time customers? You must create an inviting and remarkable omnichannel experience to inspire customers to return. Offer a positive experience for your customers by not only meeting their expectations and goals but by exceeding them. To stand out and leave a lasting impression, you must go above and beyond using technology, customer service, and a sense of community.
Omnichannel retailers are adapting to the next new normal in customer experience by following 3 key areas.
1. Technology : To provide a seamless experience for your consumers, you’ll need to have a smart technology that works. Ensure you have the necessary tools to gather and analyze data to personalize your customers’ experiences.
The following are some store ideas to consider:
- Extend digital-channel presence and engagement and provide zero friction digital experience. Tablets that allow customers to look for specific products in your store.
- Bring an in-store feel to the digital experience by using live-stream or virtual meetings to engage with customers and boost revenue and loyalty by sharing experiential content.
- Display your company’s culture and principles on screens. This can be your employee spotlights, retail events footage, customer encounters, etc.
- Use an app to reach customers about new promotions, upcoming events or to browse your inventory.
2. Service : Excellent customer service is always the key to a positive physical and digital experience. Ensure that you train your staff to provide a positive, consistent, and SafeX experience for all of your customers.
Enhance your customer service and retail experience by offering:
- Safe delivery modes such as curbside pickup and aggregator delivery.
- Speed zones – Accelerate pick, pack, and delivery of orders
- Store-to-car delivery
- Local home/work delivery service
- Personal shopping service for individuals or groups
- Personalized cards/gifts from your employees for your top 50 clients
5 Steps to Great Customer Service:
- Welcome the customer as soon as she walks in with a smile and friendly greeting.
- Tailor your conversation based on her familiarity with the store and what you have to offer.
- Offer a genuine compliment. Be sure that you’re sincere and phony gestures are likely to turn people off.
- Explain special deals and promotions, but be honest. Nothing sounds worse than a phony and recited speech.
- Handle negative conversations using a predetermined process accompanied by respect. Train your staff to deal with problematic customers to avoid backlash and make sure that the customer ultimately leaves satisfied.
3. Community : Creating a sense of community in your store will turn your visitors into your current customers. Providing a communal environment will also increase your customer’s phygital (physical plus digital) experience.
Some suggestions to create a sense of community in your store:
- Partner across retail to enhance convenience
- Partnership with other local businesses to enhance convenience for customers and boost sales.
- Bring in your Pet Wednesdays
- Host Happy Hours
- Put on periodical workshops or speakers related to your store’s theme
- Serve beer in your store
- Organize a 5k for the local community
- Conduct digital or social media contests to win free products
All of these activities will engage your customers, motivate them to visit your phygital store, and spend money. These events should evoke positive emotions that will be associated with your retail store.
When reflecting on your in-store and online experience, it is essential to ensure you have the right retail technology in place, dedicated and positive employees, and a strong sense of community in your store. Think about great in-store and online experiences and implement them in your store.
Retailers who concentrate on the customer experience and respond with agility and innovation in their omnichannel experience will fare better and strengthen their ties to customers.
Multidev helps retailers to remain constant in this changing environment. Retailers should plan “click and mortar” retail strategies to guide their aspirations for customer experience, with specific goals such as doubling down on digital, injecting innovation into omnichannel, enhancing store operations and winning on “SafeX,” establishing the physical network, and embracing an agile operating model.
Happy customers are the key to the success of your retail business. If you want to step up your remote retail strategies and digital transformation, consult our retail software experts to see how we can take your retail chain to the next new normal.