Try to describe in as complete detail as possible the typical experience your customer has in your store. Be as specific as you can from her parking spot through the front door all the way through checkout.
Take your time. This is an important exercise. You can even do this with your staff. Write down all the touch points, all the interactions she has with your business, your displays, your products, and your staff.
Once you get it all down, take a close look at each touch point.
- Which ones are remarkable?
- Which ones are experiences she will not get at any of your competitors?
- Which ones are above and beyond even her lofty expectations?
- Which ones surprise and delight her?
- Which ones are simply average, similar to what everyone else is doing?
- Which ones are worse than your competitors?
In today’s high-tech economy where shopping online has a better selection, is more convenient, and often has better prices, the primary way indie brick & mortar stores are going to compete and grow and win the hearts of customers is through the experience you offer them.
Shopping is still a contact sport. Shopping is still a touch & feel activity. Shopping is still a multi-sensory Experience with a capital E.
To win the customer, her Experience has to be remarkable. Her Experience has to surprise and delight her. Her Experience has to go above and beyond her lofty expectations. It cannot be at or even near the same levels as your competitors. By all means, it cannot be average.
Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Interactions all have to shine together.
Most retailers this time of year look at your numbers, look at your product selection, look at your local economy, look at your marketing for reasons why your business did what it did. Few will take a critical eye to each touch point of the customer’s Experience. Yet that is where your success will be.
I’ve read all the predictions for 2015 about mobile shopping, online and big data, For big companies with average products and average services, all that data is important for them to compete in their race to the bottom.
You are not average. You are not going after average customers by selling average products. If you want to win the race to the top, make sure your customers’ Experiences are so far above average that they don’t think of it as shopping so much as an outing or an event. I predict that will be the biggest key to your success this coming year.
|The Red Hat Ladies Having Fun at Toy House|
PS If you need some ideas on how to look at all the touch points in your store and raise the bar of Experience, download my FREE eBook Customer Service: From Weak to WOW!