Simple techniques to transform your store's customer experience into world calss customer experience.
Many retail businesses would class their ‘service’ as being one of their unique selling points often referred to as their USP.
When I scrutinise this statement, few can articulate exactly what it is that is special about their service. Being friendly or chatty with customers makes for a pleasant experience, but creating a truly exceptional customer experience requires a more measured approach.
We have included two tools that can help you create your customer experience.
2. Wheel of Exceeding Customer Expectation (WECE)
5 Things is a process of turning customer service on its head and starting with the outcome in mind. Ask yourself…
"What five things you would like customers to say about your business if we surveyed them at the door?"
Once you have established what you would like customers to say, you can start to work backwards in creating these outcomes.
“It always feels relaxing in there” – To create this you may choose to select music carefully, introduce a soothing scent and request that all staff talk softly.
As with any aspect of management, any process you wish to control needs to be measurable. How will you know that you are delivering? In the example above, perhaps you could have a checklist for music and scent and use mystery customers to comment on the volume of staff.
The process is simple but a very powerful way to focus your offer on the desired outcome. Other examples may include:
- "Staff are so friendly"
- "Staff really know their stuff"
- "The store always has new and unusual products in stock"
Whilst some of these may happen by default you can guarantee them happenning by creating training and emasures to encourage this kind of behaviour.
Wheel of Exceeding Customer Expectation (WECE)
Exceeding customer expectations is challenging. Customers expectations are high and take no account of how hard you worked to achieve them. For example:
A green grocer may work incrdibly hard. Getting up at 4am and driving to the market to get fresh fruit every morning in time for opening, pricing the items based on today's best buying price, laying them out on display in an enticing way in store and getting the store retail ready for the customers to come in. A lot of work, however, a customer is unlikely to be wow’d by the bananas they want being 'in stock' and 'on display'.
"Exceeding expectations means going beyond the expected, and surprising customers."
This can make your store stand out from the crowd. Very few stores are truly memorable in terms of their in-store experience. Can you think of a trully memorable retail experience you have had this month, from the many many stores you may have visited? Possibly 1 or 2 maximum.
The tool to plan your surprising experience is the 'wheel'. A copy of the wheel diagram is available to print out below, let me walk you through using it.
The core of the wheel is your offering. For instance 'selling coffee'. The wheel is cut into segments, for each stage of serving coffee.
1.Welcome customer into store
2.Arrive at counter
5.Take to seat
For each stage of the process we complete the inner circle with “What is expected?”. This is the benchmark for normal standards of customer service in the market and what most customers would anticipate when entering your coffee shop.
Here is an example of expected service:
1. Welcome – Door easily opens, there is space to come in easily, coffee shop is warm, coffe shop is well lit and a spacious environment.
The outer circle is where we blow them away. What could we do that would amaze them? We populate this area with service beyond the expected, but only for this first stage.
Here is an exampe exceptional service:
1. Welcome: Perhaps we could open the door for them, great the customer personally at the door, offer to take their bags – if heavily laden, ask them to sit down and we’ll take their order for them, ask them what music they would like to hear and put it on.
The lengths you go to can be as big or small as you like – but they must be beyond the expected.
Complete the exercise for each stage of a sale and you will have a list of steps to create world class customer service that stands out from your competition.
Click on images to print maxtrix diagrams