Following on from last week’s blog post I want to highlight some best practices for getting the most out of your team and your business.
You’ve got the digital stuff down pat (hopefully!) so that leaves the physical world. The shopfronts will be filling up with customers and to succeed, we need to create an experience that will separate the wood from the trees.
Here are my top tips for doing exactly that:
1. Process, process, process.
Be sure to have a bulletproof process in place.
Your team all need to understand what to do and when to do it.
We’re talking about everything from greeting the customer, right through to the sales process, for when things don’t go to plan, and a sturdy complaints procedure that won’t catch you on the back foot.
The key here is to focus on enhancing the customer experience at every opportunity.
Look at these key areas and devise a plan to nail them:
- Greeting your customers – first impressions are everything! Be warm, and open and make them feel at ease. If you have time, ask a couple of questions like ‘what brings you in today?”, and “have you shopped with us/ had an experience with us before?” and point out relevant areas of the showroom or shop including facilities like food, drinks and customer bathrooms. Make it easy for them.
- Sales Process – whether you’re a consultation-based type of business or solely deal with walk-ins make sure your team are prepared. Let customers know what to expect by clearly signposting their experience. Let your teammates know who’s doing what, who’s looking after which customers and when it’s crazy busy, get everyone pitching in to cover ground quicker.
- Complaints – this will usually fall to the manager or their assistant but everyone faces them at some point. Know what to say for each circumstance and guide dissatisfied customers away from the midst of it all, there’s nothing more off-putting than seeing an angry shopper when you’re roaming a store.
There’s a lot to be said about how a store looks.
A lot of it is obvious (no clutter, open spaces, health and safety compliance etc) but arrange your merchandise in a way that is both attractive and purposeful.
What I mean by this is to organise products like a roadmap.
Take the eyes of your customers (not literally) from point A to point B seamlessly.
- Organise by popularity – if you know what is or what is going to be a hugely popular purchase then get it seen! Give this item priority and as my old boss used to say, “put it in danger of being sold.”
- Colour palettes – certain seasons or themes can dictate how you display merchandise, for example, Christmas will see lots of reds, whites and golds but work with what you have. Don’t group too much of the same, break neutral up with colours and make it a visual experience to wow customers.
- Direct customers from left to right – most people will walk into a store and look left then follow that path all the way around. Use this to intelligently place items in their path. Guide them on a journey right the way round.
- Staff – kind of goes without saying but be sure to have your staff looking tidy and appropriate. Uniforms can solve this problem but a lot of businesses opt for self-dress policies so have a chat about what image you want to portray for your brand. If that means you provide a bursary for staff – do it. Or give guidance on what you expect. Image is not everything but appearing well presented goes a long way with customers.
Do your prices online match in-store? Are you still advertising expired promotions? Has your brand theme or style changed?
When you run both a digital and a physical store it can be challenging to keep both up-to-date continuously but it’s a task that has to be done.
- Conduct an audit – check prices in-store vs online to make sure they match.
- Check competitors – do the prices match or similar?
- Update descriptions – keep it fresh. Does the copy make the product sing? Could more be done to promote certain items?
- Get your website, store and socials looking the same – Brand continuity helps even when you can’t see the immediate results.
4. Save it for later
Get customers to give you their details!
Even if you can’t get them to commit now it doesn’t mean you won’t later. Email addresses are the big one as this is a way to communicate all future news.
- Ask permission to contact later – agree on a date to follow up, it makes it a whole lot less awkward when they’re expecting a call. Send them the reminder too.
- Follow up – emails are perfect. You can send feedback surveys to assess their experience and make positive changes. SMS works well for this too but let them know to expect it.
- Marketing lists – once they give you the OK, keep in touch with newsletters, promotions and sales funnels. Keep them engaged and they’ll come back when they’re ready.
5. Keep your team enthusiastic
Getting bogged down in processes and the seriousness of it all can be exhausting so be sure to show thanks and compliment your staff.
Small gestures like letting staff off early for top performance, bonus prizes or even a Friday afternoon get-together can all boost morale and maintain the excitement.
Without them, none of us would have successful businesses, give praise and gratitude at every opportunity.
Bring it all together
So these are some of my tips for the physical storefronts looking to capitalise in 2022.
Share some of your ideas on what systems you think are important too, I’d love to hear them!
And as always, thanks for reading and if you’ve enjoyed the content give us a Like, Share and Comment too.