Christmas is just a few months out, and customers are gearing up to do their shopping for the holiday season. What does that mean for shop owners?
Well, the retail sector has to compete with eCommerce now more than ever. Our blog has previously mentioned multiple new technologies which are great ways to get ahead of the competition. Today, however, we’re going to talk about a staple in our business: Great customer service.
Below are four strategies that could make a big difference in your bottom line this winter.
1. Free Gift Wrapping
Leading up to Christmas, much of the shopping at brick-and-mortar locations will be on behalf of loved ones. Instead of buying items for themselves, many customers will be visiting the store to buy a gift for someone else. Offering free gift-wrapping service is a great way to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on your shoppers. We’ve talked about the importance of a positive in-store experience in the past, and giving your audience a free perk is sure to put them in a great mood.
2. Over Staffing
According to a 2016 study, 25% of men and 12% of women will start their holiday shopping in December. In other words, that means there will be a lot of last-minute shoppers. Nobody likes long lines, and if your competitors are more convenient than your own locations, you risk losing customers during the busiest time of the year.
Cut down on the clutter by investing in your staff for the last month of the year. Overstaff slightly so that your team will be prepared in the event of an influx of foot traffic. The efficiency will keep your customers happy and will end their shopping on a positive note.
3. Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
The importance of teamwork is often stressed in a retail work environment, but during the holidays, it takes on a new meaning. Customers will be more stressed out than usual as they scramble to buy the right gifts and stay within their budgets. They’re already worried about enough, and creating an environment that anticipates their needs is a phenomenal way to get ahead of the game.
Stress to your team that they need to begin sharing the responsibilities. Staff members should be prepared to hop on a cash register, help a customer, restock shelves, and more at a moment’s notice. Even if their specific job duties don’t typically entail those tasks.
4. Seamless Returns
With shopping, also comes returns. Whether it’s a gift that missed the mark or buyer’s remorse, be prepared for above-average returns during and immediately after the holidays. Make sure your customer service desk is well equipped to assist in the return process and can address any questions that visitors may have. The smoother you execute returns, the more likely you are to have a customer that may want to come back at another time.
Being able to understand where patrons are coming from and reverse their purchases in a polite, timely manner will make a real difference. Take it another step further by investing in the BORIS model (buy online return in-store). This will certainly be a positive experience for your customer, so they keep you in mind for next year.