If you’re thinking about how you can improve your buying experience in order to delight your customers and turn them into return shoppers and brand advocates, we’ve laid a few easy steps. One of the great thing about this strategy is that even though the specifics may change, the processes necessary to support them can remain consistent, straightforward, and effective.
Why is Delighting Customers Important?
To be successful in today’s competitive retail industry, it takes more than just great products, it takes a great customer experience. In other words, if you can’t compete on price, you better be able to compete in the service and experience related to the products you are selling. Luckily, with an average customer satisfaction rate in the UAE of 77% according to the customer satisfaction index (CSI), there’s a strong foundation from which retailers can grow and improve their businesses.
However, there’s more to this than just having the right products in stock and available at the right time and location. Instead, look at the products through the eyes of your customer; what is going to motivate them to buy from you rather than someone else? The answers is in the experience, in taking a sale and making it into a positive and valuable ongoing interaction between the customer and your brand.
4 Steps to Happier Customers
If you’re thinking about how you can improve your buying experience in order to delight your customers and turn them into return shoppers and brand advocates, we’ve laid a few easy-to-follow steps to help you get started.
1 – Listen. Know exactly what challenges your customers are facing. In the age of social media, there’s really no excuse to not know what your customers are talking about, what your competitors are doing, and much more. Social monitoring can be used to determine how your brand is perceived, analyze customer behavior towards it and identify any issues that may be underfoot.
The information that you collect about your customers, their engagement, and feelings towards your brand can help you to make accurate and effective decisions. However, one essential prerequisite to these decisions is that all of the aforementioned information must be normalized and organized in such a way that it is actually usable. Custom reporting and business intelligence are the best way to achieve this.
Bonus tip: Consider sending SMS and email surveys to help gauge customer satisfaction in a more direct manner. Many ERPs or software solutions have the ability to automate and integrate these actions with the rest of your business processes, so be sure to find out if your current system has such capabilities.
2 – Make a plan. Remember all that useful and organized data that you collected about your customers, brand, competitors and more? Now it’s time to put it to work. Delighting customers most certainly doesn’t happen by accident and at this point, it’s essential to be sure that all of the different operations of your business are working together seamlessly to prevent any oversights that could eventually become problems – like those related to inventory or brand consistency. ERPs can be helpful here in breaking down the barriers between your operations, but their implementation or upgrade is not something that should be taken lightly.
Remember that during this planning process the experience doesn’t stop with the sale. After your customer has successfully (and happily of course!) gotten their product, it’s time to provide them with opportunities to engage with your brand and easily communicate with your customer support team. Having a readily accessible ‘knowledge base’ for your customer service team can be extremely helpful in quickly solving customer issues. Don’t forget to track any interactions that your customer has post-sale and to include them in their customer profile for more effective marketing and sales efforts in the future.
3 – Carry out your ‘customer delight’ plans. Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way if something isn’t working exactly as planned.
A few highly effective retail strategies include:
In Dubai, a number of malls and shopping centers are putting these ideas to the test. One such effort could be seen between the Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira and CIty Centre Mirdif, who held gamification campaigns across the malls. The ‘emoji’ campaign, which worked by enabling customers to search for hidden ‘emoji’ throughout the malls using an app provided by management was designed to encourage participants to interact with the malls and open up the opportunity for future dialogue. To further drive their engagement, those who found the most emojis had the opportunity to win a variety of different prizes, ranging from AED 1,000 to tickets to Ski Dubai.
4 – Analysis. Remember all that useful data that you collected before getting started? There’s your benchmark from which to compare the success of your newest customer delighting efforts. Several factors that you can use to measure success include:
And then applying this information to actionable changes for your next campaigns. The great thing about this strategy is that even though the specifics may change, the processes necessary to support them can remain consistent, straightforward, and effective.
Having all of this information available isn’t enough by itself though, it should come in the form of easy to digest reports and be readily located within a single dashboard. By simplifying all of the processes surrounding your efforts and analysis, you can free up precious employee time so that they can spend more time thinking about what is really important. To do so, it’s essential to have the right software solution that is capable of handling all of your efforts in steps 1-3, and preferably from a single location.
By basing your efforts around the concept of a delighted customer, you can ensure that you not only have a message that will be well received, but also to position yourself as more than just a faceless brand. If you’re interested in learning more about how having the right tools and partners can help you to delight your customers and grow your business, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org