Let’s start with a telling quote on customer experience by Bill Gates – “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” When in the business of serving customers day in and day out, one could tend to do things by rote and forget the better niceties of attracting and retaining customers. Loyal customers in particular need to be handled with great care. A sharp manager knows to keep track and measure what needs to change, where and how.
With HERD Group of Companies our focus is constantly on anticipating the needs of our customers. We do this by taking a step back from time to time to revisit our mission and vision in order to repurpose our targets. As we well know the retail businesses need more than safe, tried and tested survival methods. We also need the right set of approaches to attract a clientele that increasingly trusts our motives.
Our aim is to enhance the retail segments and to top the best customer experience in the different units of the Group. We have come to realize that the secret to success is to lay continuous stress on the importance of customer experience. For this we lay down tenets of best practices for the retail businesses to follow. Based on our own experiences and expertise we have evolved certain ground rules for establishing our retail sales.
First and foremost we ensure our front-end staff is adept at connecting with our customers. We try and inculcate staff to develop an emotional connect with them. Research states that bonding is as much essential as leaving customers completely satisfied. Staff is motivated to reach out to customers with a sense of belonging and attainment. This they do by walking the customer journey via emotional touch points. Understanding customer mindsets and thereby segmenting them through creative communication enables to establish that emotional connect.
An emotionally connected customer will always walk up to you. He would be recommending you around and may even overlook slight price changes. He will always bring in more revenue. Employees have therefore to be trained to learn to achieve such needed emotional connect. Retail business definitely wants to reach out to as many customers as possible. This has to be accomplished by a well-trained and well-prepared sales team.
Employees can play a key role in creating emotional connections with customers in a physical set up of a retail store. They can start by anticipating the needs of the customers and be ready to reach out to them even before being asked. HERD Pharmacy for instance has been practicing a customer centric culture, aided by leadership that helps them focus on giving a boost to increased happy customer experiences. For doing this they are encouraged to keep track of customer related data like preferences, mindset and transaction history.
The key here is to offer personalized and warm customer experiences. As stated by Sir Richard Branson – “The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways”. So it all depends on the attitude and helpfulness of front end staff to retain customers. Payment counter should provide quick efficient service with the least amount of queuing–up time. It is important to maintain a human element that becomes the emotional connect.
An emotionally connected customer who is well engaged with human efforts is more prone to return and bring more business to the organization. To conclude in the words of Henry Ford – “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money … It is the customer who pays the wages.” We therefore consider customers not simply as passive participants but actually as the intrinsic hub in the running of the business.