Want to Retain Customers? Here are the Top Tips To Do So!
Retaining customers and building good relationships with your customers is key to a successful business. The best way to ensure your customers leave your store with a great impression is to make them feel important to you by creating a positive shopping experience. As a result of this technique, you will have loyal customers and great social media ratings.
Let’s say you are a customer trying to contact your goods or service provider. However, they do not provide customer service. What would your reaction be? Would you recommend the business to others or return to the same place in the future?
As soon as the customers first walk into your shop, you only have a few seconds to make an impression on them that will last a lifetime and be etched into their minds forever. Ultimately, it is up to them to decide whether they will remember something positive or negative in the end, and this is what remains to be seen.
Your company must maintain the highest customer service standards, whether you work with the public face-to-face, over the phone, by e-mail, on social media, or through live chat. You will increase the likelihood of repeat business and positive referrals to your customers by ensuring your customers have the best possible experience.
A customer’s experience with you differentiates your business from others, whether you work primarily in a physical store or online. The answer to this question is the factor that will win you over customers and gain their loyalty, as well as convince them to part with their hard-earned money.
You may interact with a customer in many ways, such as:
- A customer-facing role is one in which you interact with someone in person, for example, standing at a counter in a shop and speaking to them.
- Telephone interactions, such as customer service or taking orders over the phone.
- Writing a response to an email or letter from a customer.
- Interactions via social media or live chat with customers.
How to Retain Customers and Improve Customer Service: Our Top 10 Tips
Would you like to see some examples of good customer service skills in retail? Whether you provide customer service in person, over the phone, or online, you can take advantage of the following actionable tips and advice to improve your customer service:
1. Make sure your face (or avatar) is friendly
It is a good idea to greet your customers with a smile and a friendly hello when they enter your retail premises. You should say thank you and goodbye to them when they leave. Whenever you are talking on the phone, smile whilst you are speaking, while on social media or live chat, make yourself as personable as possible and do not be too corporate – or worse, scripted. When meeting customers, ensure you have polished shoes, ironed clothes, and brushed your hair.
2. Keep yourself available at all times
Today’s instant, on-demand lifestyle means that customers expect responses to their queries and problems immediately. This habit can challenge retailers, especially if you only work 9-5. In addition, it would be helpful if your company had a social media page or live chat facility that you could monitor as close to 24/7 as possible.
3. Know your product, service and company inside out
There is no doubt that customers expect you to be available 24/7, and they also expect you to know everything about your business. It is always frustrating to have a question about a product and not be able to answer why the product is unavailable. In cases such as this, the customer will remove the item from their basket and take their business elsewhere instead of returning to you. That’s not to say you have to know it all, but you should comprehensively understand what you’re selling. You must inform the customer if you cannot answer immediately or need to investigate or fix something further. When the customer is kept informed of the wait time, they are more likely to tolerate it. Their decision will be based on whether they are satisfied or not.
4. Don’t be negative
You might not know the answer, perhaps you’re having a bad day, or maybe the customer is wrong. Still, it is a part of your responsibility as a customer service representative to keep these less-than-positive thoughts to yourself. If you have to say no to a customer, phrase it politely and positively: “I’m sorry you’re unhappy, and I’m not sure of the answer myself, but give me one moment, and I’ll do my best to find out for you.” Suppose the customer service you provide is worded negatively, rudely or unhelpfully. In that case, you can guarantee the customer will tell their friends or leave a bad review about your business online, and bad reviews can spread like wildfire.
5. Resolve problems and issues as soon as possible
When people complain, it’s because they haven’t been able to meet their expectations or needs. The issue is unlikely to go unnoticed or unheard in today’s world of review sites, direct messaging, and social media posts. In this regard, your organisation must make it easy for people to complain. It will only annoy the customer if it’s hard. In order to provide exceptional customer service, you should also respond quickly. Keep people informed. Please don’t leave them hanging. It will only make them more frustrated. I would advise you to take extreme caution when responding to customer complaints, especially if you are doing so in the public arena and if it is visible to the entire internet. If you were dealing with a customer in person, you should be polite, apologetic, and helpful.
6. Keep your regular customers in mind
People love to be remembered. It gives them a sense of importance, care, and value as a customer, which makes them feel like they are unique. The next time you see a customer you’ve seen before entering your retail premises, don’t hesitate to say hello by name if you recognise them. They will be delighted to hear you remember them and welcome them back. If your retail space is online, use personalised email communications that use customers’ names at the start. You can use this technique to make your emails or messages feel more human and less robotic. In addition, it can be impressive if you can recall details from past conversations – most live chat software will capture data from previous interactions.
7. Good manners don’t cost anything
In retail, first impressions are crucial to good customer service. The simple act of being polite, saying please and thank you, being respectful of others, and smiling are all small gestures that add up a lot. Invest your time and attention in the customer, and you will see a positive return on your investment.
8. Be attentive, look around, and listen
No matter what you are doing, whether it is stocking shelves, writing an e-mail or catching up with a colleague, your number one priority should be listening to your customers. There is no point in listening only half-heartedly whilst formulating and committing to memory an answer that would satisfy their query, nor is there any point in copying and pasting a stock response into an email you are about to send. It’s important to listen patiently, not to interrupt the customer, and to ensure you understand everything they’ve said before responding.
9. Allow the customer to assist themselves
People (especially us Brits) generally prefer to solve their own problems before seeking assistance. Therefore, empower customers by providing them with the information upfront. For example, provide information on your website about return policies, shipping costs, payment options, store locations and hours, etc. Additionally, curating a frequently asked questions list can encourage self-service and help you spend less time answering the same questions. In this way, you empower your customers so they can focus on other areas of the business where your time is better spent.
10. Use the internet to your advantage
You will often receive feedback from your customers in the form of a review online, whether on a social media page, a reviews website, an online forum, a local listing page, or in the comments section of your company website. You can sometimes forget about your online presence if you work in a brick-and-mortar store. Even so, negative comments on the internet can do a lot of damage to your business’s reputation. Your customer’s satisfaction is your number one priority, so ensure you respond to their online reviews as soon as possible. Do what you can to help, and always be empathetic and understanding. Even though you might want to move the conversation offline or into private emails, responding in public is also important, as this is a great opportunity to show how much you value your customers.
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