I’d say at this point, we’ve seen it all. Showrooms with fountains, rock climbing walls, and day-care centers. The perfect atmosphere is whatever you do to make your customers come back with their friends.
By definition customer service is what you do to make the customer happy. The more you know what the customers want the easier it is.
The things above create a comfortable setting and make the customer ‘feel’ and ‘think.’ Again it’s all about the experience.
In addition to great products, your store should contain things providing customers a sensory experience, so they become “engaged.” An experience encouraging activity and makes the customers feel like they can “touch” and enjoy products.
There is a store in my neighborhood called the Different Drummer who sells cookware, cutlery and kitchen utensils. However, when I think of the store, I think about their wonderful kitchen and the cooking classes they provide. I also love the cookbook that they’ve put together with their customer’s recipes! I feel like it’s the place to go to just to find out what’s going on. They have lots of great kitchen tools and ideas of the chef in all of us but how much can I buy? Going in and finding out what’s new puts me in the mood, and I always feel compelled to buy something. The last thing I bought was what I call the “bagel guillotine” but I still haven’t used it.
They also had an art show. Much of the art work contained photos of interesting desserts and pasta. Again, you’re intrigued with how beautiful the food is and the possibility that you an also make them. You just want to go home and put on your apron; and if you don’t have one, buy one!
According to the most-recent data, visuals matter. If most of your customers are women, you can be sure they’re looking for the just released fashion updates. Have you noticed how many fashion magazines are on the newsstands?
Your store layout can make or break your business. It can also:
Drive traffic, by inviting your customers to want to look deeper into your store. It looks interesting in the front; the customer decides the whole store is worth a look.
Helping the customers buy your products. They see how the product is presented and begin thinking. I can do that. Consider the fashion magazines; they show products and show you how to use them. You get ideas on what color eye shadows will look good with the latest styles and colors.
Sell more to the customers who are in your store. Remember the Different Drummer shows you a product and then shows you what it will do. I bought a knife that was perfect for peeling apples. I eat lots of apples and was delighted to find a “special” knife.
Get them to come back more often. This may be just to see what’s new and what’ you’re doing. If you continually change your windows and make them look appealing, customers will continue to come and window shop. The windows may also inspire your customers to return.
You may not be the only game in town, but you can sure be the most exciting.
Do you have a story about “engaging the consumer?” If so, please shoot it off to me, so we can feature it for our readers.
Lisbeth Calandrino provides customer service and sales training to help businesses build a loyal customer base.