Experience is everything – for many consumers this is especially true when it comes to Christmas. Create a great experience for your retail customers and you can simultaneously make them happy while you grow your business. That’s a win-win! Here’s a closer look at why the customer experience is so important and how you can optimize it for your customers this Christmas. 

Why Is Customer Experience Important?

Customer experience is the impression customers have of your brand based on their interactions with it. In-store customer experiences might include details such as the setup of your store and the availability of your customer service reps. Online shopping can never replace that valuable face-to-face connection that many consumers crave. 

Providing a strong customer experience is integral to the success of your business. Make your customers happy and
they’ll return time and time again, bringing their friends along. What’s more, 86% of customers are willing to pay extra for an exceptional customer experience. So the better your customer experience, the more likely you are to grow. 

With the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, physical shopping experiences are going to look different than usual this year. But your customers are still ready to buy: Deloitte estimates that retail sales will rise between 1 and 1.5%. What’s the best way to prepare for success this holiday season? Simple — invest in your staff. 

Prep for the holidays this year by giving your staff the training they need to help your customers. Statistics prove that your investment will pay off big time: Friendly retail staff can increase sales by up to 40%.

Here are a few key tips to make sure your staff and your business stand out.

Make Sure Your Staff Are Product Knowledge Experts

To create a great customer experience over Christmas, invest in staff training and development to help employees connect with your customers. When your staff understands customer needs, they’ll be able to easily upsell by suggesting complementary products to add to the cart. By ensuring that your workers have the tools they need to understand a changed market, your employees will get your company extra sales this holiday season. 

Create A Unique In-Store Experience

Online shopping has always been big at Christmas. But thanks to COVID-19, in 2020 online shopping has become popular all year round. To make the most of your brick-and-mortar store, you’ll need staff members who are engaged and informed. This will help create an experience your customers can only get in-store.

This may take the form of up-selling additional products to customers, suggesting complementary items, or simply having unparalleled product knowledge. Think about the experiences your customers want that a click-and-collect experience cannot deliver. Then implement those special touches in your store to provide extra value to customers who come in.

Make Every Touchpoint Safe

By now, this should be standard practice; but double check that every in-store customer touchpoint adheres to the latest COVID-19 advice. It’s essential that the safety of your customers is foremost in your mind. 

Depending on the nature of your business, you will likely need to have your staff wear face masks, regularly wipe down screens and surfaces, and take your employees’ temperatures when they arrive at work. Researching the guidelines for your specific location can help you make decisions about what precautions to take in-store. When in doubt, however, err on the side of caution. 

Take Care of Your Staff

Look after your staff so they can look after your customers. As a business, your staff members are your best assets. And investing in them will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Areas like flexibility, communication, and career development are all good places to spend a little extra time. Help your staff focus on continued learning via webinars or conferences. You can work through a curriculum that’s made for corporate teams or even give a special presentation in advance of the holiday season. This helps your staff to be prepared for the rush so they can offer as much value as possible. 

Schedule Smarter

The holidays are stressful enough as it is. Do yourself a favour and give yourself one less thing to think about by easily scheduling employee shifts with Planday. Download our free Excel template and set yourself up for success this holiday season with staff scheduling and beyond.

Cover Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

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