People Shop Where They Feel Welcome

You can have the most organized retail environment possible, with the most current stock tastefully displayed. You can lay out your store perfectly to maximize flow and have clear lines of sight on all your most important items. It can be clean as a whistle, fun and engaging, and still fail if only one aspect is being mismanaged: customer service.

Nothing is quite as important to the health and continued success of your business as good customer service. Staff and management that are friendly, engaging, knowledgeable, and welcoming can do more than almost anything else to make customers feel welcome and inspire repeat business.

And it all starts with how you greet customers. No matter how busy you are, it’s vital that none of that comes across in your greetings. We all want to feel welcome when we enter a room, so a smile and a friendly welcome will go a long way in creating a solid first impression.

Most of us also don’t want to feel pressured in a shopping environment. By its very nature, a retail environment exists to sell something to a potential customer, and that’s unavoidable. Even so, there are many ways to keep customer interactions pleasant, friendly, and inviting without feeling like the stereotypical “used car salesman” cliché.

Some customers want to browse in silence. Others want to chat. A well-trained, attentive staff can learn to read the verbal and physical cues and engage in ways that make both feel comfortable. A few basic prompts like “How are you doing, today?” can tell you so much about how much interaction your customers need to feel comfortable.

Running role-playing exercises with employees can be a good way to help teach everyone to learn to read customer reactions. Having prepared replies to common questions will make interactions seamless.  It’s a process, but one that can go a long way towards fostering a more welcoming retail experience for everyone.

Written by Blog Contributor: Heidi Whistle