Recent research shows that 70% of businesses agree that it’s actually cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones but, funnily enough, that same research also uncovered that 44% of companies have a focus on acquisition compared to a mere 18% who focus on customer retention.
A quick Google search “How to make customers love shopping with you” is a tell-tale sign that a number of retailers are focusing on a short-term fix to a long-term problem.
A number of the topics you’ll find aim to give you helpful information on how to attract more customers to your business with headings like; “How To Attract More Customers To Your Retail Store In 8 Easy Steps” or “5 Best Ways to Attract Customers to Your Retail Shop”.
"You don’t want to be left behind by retailers who are hopping on the omnichannel train, but be careful you don’t miss your stop."
For a large retailer the problem isn’t necessarily attracting more customers. Most of the brands we work with are large-format retailers with upwards of 2,000 frontline staff. For them, customer volume is less of an issue. When you’ve already got large numbers of customers visiting your store, the challenge becomes less about attracting more customers and more about ensuring these customers come back.
Given that the cost is much lower to retain a customer (and customers are usually willing to spend more with great service), you can transform your retail business by shifting the focus from acquisition to retention with these three simple steps:
1. Empower your managers to drive the customer experience
When you’re implementing a customer centric strategy in your business, the direction needs to start from the top, but know that some of the most influential people in your business don’t actually work in your head office.
When you’re a large retailer, you rely on the passion and drive of your managers (regional, branch, store or otherwise) to inspire and motivate your front-line staff. They can’t do this if you don’t give them these two things first:
- Insight into the direction of the business. What’s your big hairy audacious goal (BHAG)? Communicate this to your managers, make them feel like an important piece of this puzzle, because quite often they are!
- The tools to drive. Much of a manager’s role revolves around up-skilling their teams to improve KPI’s; whether that’s by selling more, improving conversion rates or mystery shopper results. Make sure you’re up-skilling your managers on how to support their teams first and foremost.
2. Empower your salespeople to deliver the customer experience
With your managers on-board with the direction of the company, and with the skills to drive this message in your business, it’s now up to your salespeople to understand how they can deliver on this goal.
A major part of this strategy must be, without question, providing your frontline staff with training that’s aligned to the key drivers within your business (remember the BHAG?). Find a training solution that allows you the flexibility to develop a customised solution.
Check out our free retail sales training programme courses.
3. Empower your customers to love the customer experience
Make it enjoyable for your customers to shop with you.
Sure, there’s an important element of “keeping-up-with-the-(retail)-Joneses” here. You don’t want to be left behind by retailers who are hopping on the omnichannel train, but be careful you don’t miss your stop. There has to be a balance.
Customers still expect human interactions in-store. When we say “human interaction” we don’t just mean interacting with a human, we mean an interaction that is in itself, human. It needs to be real, and it needs to feel genuine to the customer.
This is where the first two points start to come to fruition. If your managers know what kind of experience is expected of your business, and you’re giving them the skills to drive this vision, then your frontline staff are more likely to deliver on this experience with each and every customer that walks through the door.