As you and your staff return from the Christmas break, it’s worth ensuring that you’re using the learnings from our recent Annual Shareholders’ Conference, especially the ‘10 steps to creating raving fans for any business’. None of these steps were more important than how your staff represent your business and how the experience they provide your customers could last a lifetime. As an independent business owner, you therefore, want to make sure that your customer’s experience is a positive one.
Think of some of the retail interactions you’ve had over the festive season, whether it was at your local supermarket, a speciality shop or an online purchase. Ask your team about their retail experiences and share what interactions where successful and what weren’t. Explore why each interaction had the outcome it did, and what the retailers could have done differently.
For those experiences that were successful and had a positive impact on you or your team members, discuss what it was about the interaction that made such a good impression:
- A simple smile
- Eye contact
- The ambience of the store
- The great conversation that took place
- The unexpected additional customer service that was provided
- The product choice
Then think about how you can integrate the findings into your business to ensure that the experience your customers receive is the one you want your business to reflect.
Remember, today’s advocates promote businesses either positively or negatively with ‘word of mouth to word of mouse’. With members of the public now readily able to contribute to online content, customers have more of a voice and the ability to influence the purchase decisions of other consumers more than ever before. Often it is the customer experiences of others that influence our decisions on where we spend our money.
Having customers as advocates of your business and who refer other customers to you, is the cheapest form of new business and one that delivers the highest value customers.
Words by Nicola Strudwick, General Manager Sales