Today’s customers have more options at their disposal than ever before. If they have a bad experience in your store, they might decide to visit a competitor next time. Or they can shop for what they need online and entirely skip your brick-and-mortar location. For these reasons, today’s leading retailers must be focused on doing what they can to improve the customer experience—which, according to one study, will overtake price as the key differentiator by 2020.
For starters, 86 percent of buyers say that they are willing to pay more for something if it’s accompanied by a better experience. Data also suggests that when customers have great experiences, they are much more likely to repurchase from your brand. Although only 15 percent of your customers may be considered “loyal,” that small cadre of shoppers can be responsible for up to 70 percent of your revenue—and even more if you’re a food retailer.
Is your business ready to deliver exceptional customer experiences during each transaction? Here are five ways you can transform your customer experience, thus generating more sales and sharpening your competitive advantage.
1. Speed up transactions
Nobody likes waiting in long lines—which is part of the reason Amazon has been experimenting with its cashier-less stores, Amazon Go. Automating your entire store is probably out of the question—and that’s OK. You can still speed up transactions by investing in a smart payment terminal running a robust POS application that makes it easy for cashiers to ring up customers and for customers to settle their tabs.
With the right solution in place, customers can pay however they want—including cash, credit card, NFC payments (e.g., Apple Pay and Google Pay), mag stripe, EMV, and more. This eliminates any kind of conversation that starts with these words: Do you take ...?
2. Track customer histories
Your customers want to feel as though you value their business. A customer loyalty program is an easy way to show them you do.
If you’re already thinking about a new smart payment terminal, launching and managing a loyalty program is also a logical step and not as hard as you might think. With the right smart terminal solution in place, you can easily extend your POS system by adding on apps designed specifically to facilitate these programs.
3. Solicit feedback from customers—and act on it
If you give yourself enough time, you can definitely come up with a number of ideas on how to improve the customer experience. But instead of guessing what your customers want, you can get better results in less time by asking them directly what they are thinking.
Here are three easy ways to do that:
- Social media polling
- One touch surveys at the point-of-sale
- Good old-fashioned conversations
Just remember: It’s one thing to solicit feedback. It’s quite another to act on it.
4. Solicit feedback from employees—and act on it
You can also ask your employees what they think can be done to improve the customer experience. After all, they bring a unique day-to-day perspective that managers don’t always see. Employees might have ideas for new products to sell, new processes to follow, or new tools to use.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to ask your employees for feedback and implement their best ideas. You’ll make their jobs easier, they’ll be happier, and, as a result, the customer experience will be stronger.
5. Use modern tools to keep your team aligned
If your business operates multiple locations, you can use modern communications tools, such as a messaging service or project management application, to keep the team aligned. Customers today expect consistent experiences as they move across channels (or, in the case of your retail business, when they hop from store to store). By giving your team the tools they need to stay connected to each other, you can easily deliver on these expectations.
Take the Customer Experience to the Next Level with a Smart POS System!
When you offer great experiences to your customers, they’ll be happier and more loyal—making your business more profitable. For this reason, investing in improving the customer experience any way you can is definitely worthwhile.
The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to transform the customer experience. A few simple investments can go a long way toward achieving your business’s goals. Learn about one such investment here.