Four ways to improve the shopping experience in your small business *

We live in an age where everyone has a smartphone in their hands. The implication is that customers can find out as much information on any given product as the salesperson standing in front of them, or the customer care officer replying their emails. This means they know exactly what they want and what they don’t want in the course of their shopping experience. You would have to set yourself apart from your competition farther now more than ever, and discounts will not necessarily save you now.

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The most effective tool to ensure customer loyalty is the shopping experience. Whether you are selling your products online or you have a physical retail unit, leaving your customers satisfied will go a long way in pushing your brand and driving sales.

Friendly employees

No matter how great your product is, having unfriendly employees will make for terrible customer experience. Imagine having great food and a beautiful environment for a restaurant but dismissive waiters who seem as though they don’t want to be there. Customers will likely not want to come back. One of the biggest complaints that customers have are employees that aren’t helpful to their shopping experience. Have your workers attend customer relation training to ensure they give a higher standard of service.

Ask your customers questions

Being proactive is great, but it should only be a starter. More importantly, you should make the effort to find out what your customers want from you. That’s the only way you can honestly know what a great shopping experience is to them. Note their complaints and effect the necessary changes. It is important to let them know sincerely that their thoughts matter. That way, even if they had a terrible experience, they trust that next time is better. You can go the extra mile to creating surveys they will fill out. From that, you can generate data for the growth of your business.

Be authentic

The one way to create an excellent customer experience is to be authentic. Customers want to know they are dealing with a person whether they are buying online or from your shop which explains why most people are comfortable with patronizing family businesses. Therefore, figure out your brand voice and let everything else about you resonate that. It makes customers feel at home and consequently grow your brand faster. Again, it’s important to keep your business protected in the event that you run into any troubles with your customers. The work in building loyalty can be easily undone through a lack of business protection.

Incorporate a loyalty programme

There are different loyalty programmes you can choose from and implement in your small business. All of them generally significantly improve customer experience. Studies show that over 74% of customers prefer shopping in companies with a perceived strong brand loyalty. Rewarding the customers who choose your business time and time again will ensure that they will maintain loyalty to your company over the long term.

Conclusion

If you know that your customers are the bedrock of your business, why would you not do everything possible to keep them happy? Sometimes small businesses put up lots of policies to favour them, but if they make the shopping process tedious for the customer, then you are hurting yourself. These tips are guaranteed to instantly improve the shopping experience in your business and consequently grow your brand.

* This is a pre-written collaborative post
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Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

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