A Quick Guide To Better Customer Experience

Open Store Sign

Customer Experience is such an important term and every retailer has a different understanding of what a great experience for consumers should look like. This quick guide will help identify how to improve customer experience by utilizing smart technology tools.

If you’re in love with what you do and how you present your merchandise, great customer experience in your eyes might be a lengthy story about how the product was designed and produced. Your customers may look for efficiency, though, and would appreciate a quick turnaround. This misunderstanding leaves both you and the shopper frustrated – creating a negative experience in your store. The first step towards a solution is the ability to listen to your customers. What do they really need? What makes them happy?


The Right Tool For The Job

Technology folks will tell you that a great customer experience can only be achieved with a 15 foot 4K video wall and a greeter hologram as bright as the sun. They all miss the point: What problem does it solve?

Look for smart technologies to solve problems that actually impact the customer experience. Limited floor space and a plethora of SKUs call for an endless aisle application such as an interactive in-store kiosk. If a big touchscreen kiosk seems like too much for your store, though, go with tablets instead and sit down with your customers to go over options that are not visible on the floor.

If you want to visualize environments or show multiple use cases for your products, use digital signage screens to bring products to life. If you recognize increased dwell time in your store, consider adding a few screens as digital poster boards to entertain, which shortens perceived wait time. Also use them to inform your customers about additional services, up-selling items, and products that are great impulse buys.

Don’t just add screens because they’re slick and modern. There are so many examples where the screen was hung long before content was even defined. These displays end up showing weather, traffic, or a news ticker which completely defeats the purpose and is a waste of space and energy. If displays turn into mere noise generators then the customer experience doesn’t benefit from them – in fact they are counterproductive as people start to ignore the screens altogether.


Be Careful With “Inspiration”

In many cases great customer experience can be summed up with efficiency and speed  – people don’t want to waste their time having to browse through chaotic inventory or “getting inspired”. You don’t invite consumers in your store to sit down at a table and browse through every pamphlet and circular you ever produced to “inspire them”. That means you don’t respect their time. Most customers know exactly what they need and want – the store that provides the fastest access to this information paired with an added value and friendly service wins. To make it easier, here’s a bullet list to improve your customers’ experience.

  1. Identify customer experience problems in your business.
  2. Evaluate tools (digital and non-digital) that solve these specific problems.
  3. Implement the tools together with your staff to make sure they embrace the change instead of fighting it.
  4. Monitor and adjust as necessary along the way, eliminating tools that don’t solve any problems.
  5. Talk to your customers, talk to your staff. Invite people to shop in your store and have them provide feedback about the experience.

Technology is a tool and if used correctly it can have a magical impact on your business. As with any tool, if you don’t know how to use it or you’re using the wrong one for the job, you might end up with a bloody finger.


Technology Is Not Everything

It doesn’t make sense to plaster your store with digital displays just because everyone and their dog is predicting ultimate retail doom if you don’t do exactly that. Consider your target audience and the reason why they visit your store. A farmhouse chalkboard for messaging or a carefully crafted rustic wooden sign might be the much better fit for the atmosphere you’re looking to create.

Technology should make our lives easier and increase the efficiency of the store – so it’s convenient for your customers to find and purchase exactly what they’re looking for. A successful implementation of technology will leave your employees with more time to ask the right questions, listen to what your customers have to say, engage them in a conversation and learn more about ‘your’ shopper.

A truly outstanding customer experience is also as simple as a smile and a friendly gesture.

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