The peak season for shopping may have passed, but for this year, I’m sure there’ll be more opportunities to shop. A down economy doesn’t necessarily mean no economic activity.
In fact, I foresee companies going on sale and giving people more avenues to spend. In any case, companies stand to benefit more if they are able to maintain that memorable customer experience, which customers remember when economy becomes better.
An obvious result of a sale season is the great number of customers storming the shops or stores. Often when establishments deal with a huge number of customers, the service suffers, except of course for those who have already a good customer service strategy in place. Otherwise, customers face long slow lines, empty racks, and worse, no available products on the shelves.
Last Thanksgiving, Nielsen out out a Thanksgiving Don’t-Dos. I tweaked a bit the list, and made it focus on customer service:
1. Target. Have a purpose for the sale or discounts you’re offering. Do you want to entice new customers? Do you want to reward loyal customers? Do you want to invigorate existing/old customers? Or all of the above? A purpose or target gives meaning to your service, and helps you better deal with your customers.
2. Diversify. Offer more products that your customers need or want, or even like. There’s nothing like a well-stocked store. Just manage your inventories well.
3. Be in your Best Behavior. Everyone in your store should serve your customers the best way they can, and they must enjoy doing it. Unpleasant experiences tend to be magnified when customers find themselves battling the crowds and the retailer.
4. Move. Keep your customers moving. Narrow lanes between shelves or a full-packed store, disorderly store layout, unsystematic movement of customers inside the store, long slow lines to the cashiers are major turn-offs.
5. Pay attention. Listen to what your customer are saying. Observe how they behave, and take note of their preferences. These are valuable information for future use.