Posted by Laura Hills, VP of Marketing
If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s television sitcom Cheers, you’ll be familiar with its popular theme song, Where Everybody Knows Your Name? That’s the concept at the heart of omnichannel retailing. It’s the feeling that customers are hoping to find when they shop with you; whether it’s online, in store, or over the phone. Customers are less concerned with the size of your business and more concerned with the quality of your products, timeliness of receiving their order and how you treat them when they come to you through whatever channel they may opt to connect.
Everyone wants to be treated like the individual they are and this is especially true for shoppers who want to be recognized, responded to and valued as if they were your only customer. Creating a positive shopping experience needs to be a priority on your company’s to-do list.
As customers set the agenda through social media it is important to create and continually nurture the connection to your customers that engages them and keeps them coming back to you.
Technology has put the consumer in control with the expectation for 24/7 access to their shopping experience via digital devices and you need to be ready to respond.
Here are a few tips for developing strategies to maintain a strong connection with your customers.
- Be Sam – Sam wasn’t just the bartender at Cheers, he was the business owner and he knew everyone that came in. Fast forward to today, and you can use technology to stay connected with your customers. When they’re browsing in your physical store, on your site or requesting information, never ask them twice who they are. Use technology to pre-populate online request forms. Use traffic intelligence tools to become familiar with their needs and personalize the customer experience.
- Become obsessed with your customers – make it a point to develop a continuous process of excellent customer service throughout your company for gathering and utilizing customer insight through preferences and ratings. It’s not enough to have one good customer rep. or salesperson; everyone that interacts with your customers needs to be customer-centric.
- Listen to your customers – encourage feedback and respond. If you made a promise be sure to keep it, building trust and confidence in your company and your products. And listen to your customer service staff. They’re hearing from customers first-hand. They are a great source of trends, suggestions and areas for improvement. One online retailer we know listened closely to their support representatives who were answering ‘how to’ questions over and over again. The solution? Videos for each of the products. The videos enhanced the customer experience with products and cut down on the ‘how to’ call volume.
- Be where your customers are – your customers are active on social media. Are you? Encourage your customers to be in touch with you. Their interactions and feedback give you the opportunity to keep the lines of communication open and to continually deliver the positive experience they are looking for.
So keep the Cheers theme song in mind when focusing on customer-centric strategies this year.
Let all your customers know that they are the most important part of your business, that they are always welcome, valued by everyone in your company and that you’re always glad they came…
To learn more about Omnichannel retailing, view this On Demand Webinar: Demystifying Omnichannel Retailing: Finding Value in a Multichannel Sales Landscape.