I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who shook his head reading about the Black Friday Walmart shopper who resorted to using pepper spray on her fellow shoppers in order to get what she wanted before everyone else.
The customer environment has changed in this new economy, and there are some important steps an Agile Business will make to help both the customer and your bottom line.
Recently a Consumer Reports survey found that 64% of customers have walked out of a store because of poor customer service, while 70% indicated they are willing to spend more at companies that provide superior customer service.
Customers are worn out by the economy and trying to stretch money further for holiday gifts. The holiday shopping crowds can be a bit surlier, and the shopping experience for many is an exercise in stress management.
Customers spend more when relaxed
A study done by Columbia University professors found that when people are more relaxed, they actually spend more. Obviously, luxury retailers have known this for quite a while with their catering to the comfort of their buyers. But it’s not just for luxury providers anymore.
An Agile Business Builds Relaxation into the Customer Experience
Last Christmas Macy’s in Charlotte had a person playing holiday music on a grand piano at the center of the store, which prompted more than one flash mob to join in. Shoppers smiled more, felt happy more, and were more relaxed.
Apple stores know people hate waiting in line to check out their purchases so they have sales staff roaming the floor with hand-held card swipers to reduce the lines. This point of purchase idea also invites customers to buy on the spot when they are most excited about a product. How many buyers do you know who lose interest in buying once they see the length of the checkout lines?
Another retailer is offering customers chair massages as available. Even though not all customers can get the 10-minute chair massage, it sends a message that you want your customers to enjoy their experience and relax.
What other ideas can you use to relax your buying customers? A free bottle of water for customers as they wait in checkout lines. Free food samples. (Costco uses this approach year-round to great effectiveness.) Local choral groups caroling in the store.
Even online retailers can relax customers. Simplify the checkout process. Give reduced rates on shipping with on-time guarantees for holiday gifts. Amazon even has created a one-click ordering feature. Now that is relaxing!
This holiday season, increase the relaxation of your customers while increasing your bottom line and create a positive holiday season for all.