Running a retail business can be tricky at the best of times, what with the small margins involved. However, after COVID-19 many retail businesses are struggling to get customers back through their doors. Fortunately, you can make your business more appealing by eliminating the things that are putting your customers off. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Poor Access to Your Business
One of the biggest reasons that your customers may not want to visit your retail store is that it is awkward for them to gain access. Indeed, there could be several issues causing this problem, from roadworks to inclement weather like snow that makes your car park more like an ice rink.
Unfortunately, when it comes to road works there is little you can do but wait until they are complete, and signpost the alternative route to your store. However, this is not the case with snow. Indeed, if the snowfall is a frequent occurrence in your areas you may wish to find a commercial snow removal to help you. Then you can be sure that your customers will always be greeted with a clear, car park and entrance, something that can help tip the balance in your retail business’s favor.
Lack of Empathy for the Customer
Another reason why customers may not choose to visit your store is that they feel there is a lack of understanding of their needs. Indeed, understanding your customer on a deep level is essential in two ways for success in retail.
The first is that you need to predict their needs and wants, to be able to offer them the products and the customer experience that is suitable.
For example, as the restrictions on shopping slowly lift after COVID-19, many customers will still be worried about contamination, and not accounting for this in a responsible and obvious way, could cost your business customers.
Secondly, empathy is vital when it comes to dealing with customer problems and complaints. No customer wants to feel as if they are banging their head on a brick wall when trying to be understood, and part of the process of getting better at listening and solving a customer’s issue is being able to see things from their point of view.
Of course, the main issue here is that not everyone has a well-developed skill of empathy. However contrary to popular belief, empathy is a skill rather than an innate quality, and this means that many people can get better at it the more they practice. You may even want to add such practice into your staff training sessions.
It seems to be a point of pride that DIY enthusiasts know more than the inexperienced staff that work in hardware stores. However, this is most certainly not the case across other types of retail environments, as having to deal with inexperienced, unengaged staff can sour the experience of even the most loyal fan of your brand.
With this in mind, investing in an onboarding program, so your staff hit the ground running is essential. As are regular training updates and refreshers throughout the year.