It’s time to take a step back from the digital world and step into real life.
No, I’m not talking about a disconnect or a rebellion against technology. But a look at the forms of marketing that have fallen to the wayside.
You own and operate a brick and mortar store — a physical location. Even though the landscape has shifted, there are still things better achieved in-person. Or in-store.
So where can your business shine, better than through your online presences?
Yes, your site has contact forms, information about your store, a number to call. Yet, they can pale in comparison to good old-fashioned in-store assistance.
So how does bolstering your customer service help to market your phone repair store?
It’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an old one. 65% of business comes from existing customers. So making sure they’re satisfied is crucial. And how does it build your business?
Spread The Word-of-Mouth
Here’s how focusing your efforts on the experience inside your store will grow your business:
The advent of e-commerce may have changed how we do business, but not who we are as people. The in-store experience still lives. And what’s the one thing that separates it from the convenience of online shopping? Another person.
Another person being there to help guide your purchasing decision. Another person, knowledgeable in their field, to help answer all your burning questions. And yes, live chat does exist. And yes, it is a helpful tool. But it can’t truly replace the human element.
Great customer service turns your customer’s walk-ins into an enjoyable experience. One that makes it easy for them to recommend to their peers. It’s just good business.
Grow Your Brand and Customer Base
You’re out on the town and a sudden slide on ice throws your friend’s phone out of his hand. It hits the ground, its screen cracked like fractured glass. He needs to get it fixed and pronto.
You’ve had a wonderful experience with a similar issue at a repair shop a few blocks away. Naturally, you won’t hesitate to inform him of this experience. You both walk to the store, put the device in for service, and they now have a new customer.
See where I’m going with this?
Word-of-mouth marketing is the original strategy. It is the most important social media. Give your customers the right experience and they’ll want to share it with their friends and family. They’ll want to grow your business.
Customer service can literally cost you nothing. Aside from the time to devise protocols or train up staff members — financially, it doesn’t have to cost you a dime.
There is no price associated with providing customers with both what they need and what you know. But, you only to need to think back to your last bad shopping experience to know that it can be costly to the business. What’s more, think about the last great experience you had.
When you need that product or service again. Are you gonna go back there?
Of course you will.
Strategic Customer Service
Improving your store’s customer service is more than a smile and a “Can I help you with anything?”. Though, not as complex as a PPC campaign, still requires some forethought and planning.
Step 1: Understand and Communicate Your Value Proposition
To create an effective customer service experience you must understand your value. Specifically, your business’ value proposition.
What does your business do that is unique and beneficial to your customers? What separates your store from the store across the street? Do you have better prices? Expert knowledge? Faster repair times?
Start by narrowing down these values. It can be helpful to conduct a competitor analysis to see what you’re up against. Now, this doesn’t have to be a massive endeavor. A simple walk into your competitor’s stores will suffice.
Know what you bring to the table and compare them to what your competitors are doing. If you find things identical, start brainstorming how you can differentiate yourself.
Remember, the question is: Why would a customer rather walk into your store than someone else’s
Understanding your unique value proposition will mold your customer service experience. It will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward with each and every customer.
Step 2: Train Your Staff
Once you’ve nailed down your business’ secret ingredient, it’s time to educate your team.
New and existing staff members must know what to communicate to your customers. Let’s say your business has the technical expertise. And the ability to communicate to the technologically-illiterate. What would training involve?
First, you must fill any knowledge gaps in your staff member’s repertoire. Now, this doesn’t mean every single member must know everything about everything. But, having a well-rounded approach to your team’s collective knowledge is the key.
For example, if you’re an expert on iOS devices but not so flash with Android — designate a team member to fill that gap. Great customer service then, is a quick swap in staff members for android using prospects.
Figure out what value you want customers to receive from doing business with you. Let it permeate through your store and in the experience of everyone who walks in.
Step 3: Gather Feedback
Like digital strategies, feedback is paramount. How can you know if what you’re doing is working or not?
Feedback for customer service can come in many forms:
- Feedback cards
- Optional surveys sent to email addresses of customers
- Asking customers in-person
Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to get feedback. You may discover that your value proposition isn’t what draws in customers. Or you may find that you’ve hit the nail on the head and double down.
Remember to grow your business, it’s about servicing the customer, not your own ideas of what should work (but doesn’t).
Step 4: Reward and Adapt
Here’s the monitor and optimize step of in-store marketing. And it is dependent on the feedback you’ve gathered. Understand what your customers enjoy and value about their experiences. Alter and adapt to their feedback.
If certain staff members are receiving far more praise than others, use them as a model for all employees. Create an evolving experience that aims for continuous improvement. Your customers (and your bottom line) will thank you for it.
Don’t Forget The Little Things
Great customer service is often overlooked as a marketing strategy. It may not be as active or measurable as say, building an email list. But for brick and mortar stores, it can be just as powerful.
You may think it a no-brainer. Obviously, we want to give good customer service. We’re a business are we not?
Exactly. But, like most things in business, a strategic approach is best.
In a world of SEO, social media and PPC — it can be easy to devalue the power of word of mouth. But, it’s a strategy as old as marketing itself for a reason.
And if nothing else, each person who walks out of your store will have had an experience worth sharing. An experience that will grow your business.