Getting up close and personal with your customers
Customers are like good friends. They are there with you through the big events in life, they share a banter and a laugh and they are crucial in shaping who you are and who you will become as a person. And as in any good friendship, the foundation of a strong customer relationship is really getting to know each other.
How well do you really know the people who are shaping your businesses future?
Answer these 5 questions to see how well you really know your customers.
What do they do? Understanding a customers’ interests, hobbies and even occupation can provide valuable hints to what products would fit into their lifestyle. Asking these questions has the bonus of opening up great conversations and rapport building opportunities.
What do they buy? Find the common element that makes your top selling items successful, perhaps they all offer convenience or maybe they have a similar aesthetic design. This is your golden ticket to successful buying and will create unity in store and a clear direction and point of difference.
How often do they shop? The frequency of visitation speaks volumes about what your stock turnover should be. Encourage customers to visit more often by bringing in new products and showcasing them in your windows regularly (at least every 3-4 weeks). Changing the in-store merchandising creates freshness and can draw attention to previously unnoticed products. If it hasn’t sold in 3 months, mark it down and try something else.
What do they love about shopping with you? Do customers come in and appreciate taking their time, asking questions and perusing your products, or do they love that buying is quick and easy? Do they love that you stock the very best product on the market (and are less interested in price) or do they want lower prices and good value? Find what they love and stick to it, being in the middle ground creates indifference when we want to see passion, loyalty and love for your brand.
What do they expect of you? Expectations will vary significantly across retail categories. Customers may expect fast checkout times at a convenience store, fast delivery of furniture, exchange/refunds for clothing or follow-up customer service on big ticket items. Whatever it may be that your customer expects of you, always aim to exceed it to create repeat business and encourage referrals.
Customers are the most important relationships you will ever build as a business.
You must enchant, woo, surprise, prove and nurture the relationship, so they remain happily wedded to your brand. Building these partnerships requires you to take action and understand your customers and build a business that will truly delight them again and again.