Keeping up with competition can be hard, especially if you are a small or new business. You may struggle to keep pace with the discounts that larger, well-established companies can afford. Follow these tips to bring customers back to your store without having to go bankrupt.
Ease of Shopping
The average modern American is growing accustomed to the rapidity and smoothness of online shopping. No in-store experience can ever be as convenient as sitting on the couch and clicking some buttons on a phone or laptop. However, you can reduce this contrast by placing plenty of shopping carts and baskets right at the door and having return centers for them in the parking lot. Ensure that shopping cart wheels work and that someone cleans the handles before they become so grimy that no one wants to touch them. Clearly label each section of your store and, if it has multiple stories or rooms, have a directory in the entranceway. Avoid having very narrow aisles and install ramps if necessary so that all customers can easily navigate your store.
Quality of Service
Show your customers that automated shopping can never beat a human interaction. Greet customers as they walk in. If you ask them how they are doing, genuinely listen to the answer. If you have frequent customers, try to learn their names or at least show that you recognize them. Speak to your employees about the importance of friendliness and prompt service. Sometimes other things do get in the way, but as much as possible, put solving a customer’s problem in front of any other tasks. You can re-shelve rejected or misplaced items anytime, but you only have one moment to resolve a specific customer’s issue. These standards of service will be hard to live up to when you are stressed and overworked. However, they will have the very real benefit of making customers want to come back.
Level of Community Involvement
You may not live right where your business is located, but you are still part of that local community. Show you care by attending community functions such as town halls or fairs. Support local schools by offering back-to-school sales or by donating school supplies to students in need. Parents will remember your business’s name and be more likely to use your services.
Establishing a new business is complicated and involves making hard decisions about where to focus your time. When in doubt, know that ensuring customer satisfaction will never be a waste of time.