As the owner of a small retail business, you have a huge responsibility because you shoulder the entire burden of the success or failure of the business. One area that you must always consider is the customer and the type of experience they have in your establishment. Discovering ways to improve how customers feel about your business must always be a part of your planning for the business and that can be challenging. However, thinking about ways to improve customer interactions does not necessarily mean that they are having bad ones; considering ways to improve can and should be proactive rather than reactive. Here are a few tips to consider when you are thinking about how you can improve the experience of customers in your small business.
Take Care of Customers
Customers, whether they know it or not, are assessing your business from the time they enter the store until the time they leave. This means that the first opportunity you have to make a good impression is when they step inside the door and the final opportunity is at checkout. Both of these experiences rely on your employees. Your employees must always be visible, available and knowledgeable.
How can your employees be visible, available and knowledgeable? They should greet customers quickly and be prepared to answer any questions they may have. At the checkout, the employee has a limited amount of control over the experience of the customer, as this will depend heavily on the checkout system your business uses. A retail POS system can give employees a smooth and easy way to process customers’ transactions and contribute to an overall positive interaction.
Be a Member of the Community
One of the perks of being a small business is that you are a locally owned company. Most people, especially those who shop at locally owned businesses, love and are proud of their community. Since this is part of your company’s appeal, you should lean into that in order to impress your customers.
Customers should also know that your commitment to the community goes beyond your role as a business and extends to being a part of the community as well. Find ways to contribute to your community and support other local organizations and causes. This is a great way to make your business mean more to the community and to your customers. If customers enter your establishment with a positive outlook on your business, this will help them have a better experience when they come in.
Be a Safe, Clean Place
Customers want to shop at orderly and clean small businesses in their community. Be sure that the environment that you offer to your customers is appropriate. They should know that your priority and that of your employees is for them to have a good time shopping that is free from danger from accidents or illness. Your merchandise must be stocked safely and your sanitation practices must be top-notch. Customers should have no questions or fears about whether they are safe when they are in your establishment. This reassurance will show them that you care and will help them feel good about doing business with you.
Make It a Fun Experience
Most people will come to your business because they want or need products or services that you provide. This does not mean, though, that they cannot have fun while they are visiting your place of business. You can use music to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and fun. Your employees’ greetings to customers can be light-hearted and funny. You could also use your decor to lighten the mood and make the experience more enjoyable. Try to think of ways, even small ones, that might brighten your customers’ day.
When you are trying to think about how you can improve customers’ experience, it may be as simple as thinking about how you can help them know and feel that you actually care about them and the experience they have in your business. Treat your customers like they matter and they will keep coming back.