Consumers Are Expecting A Connection And Authoritative Advice When Making A Buying Decision
Poor customer service and tight pocketbooks have made most of our consumers into ROBOSHOPPERS. They Research on line then buy off line. In other words, they do their own homework on the internet and get all the facts about the product they wish to buy. By the time they get to the store, it’s a matter of simply placing an order.
Why have consumers become Roboshoppers? It’s because they’re not getting the service or level of product knowledge anymore at the stores when they visit. The store employees they have been encountered for the past few years have little experience, product knowledge or confidence in demonstrating and recommending products with authority. In many retail organizations turnover is as high as 65%. It’s little wonder why customers have lost faith in the in-store customer experience.
This ritual of order taking in the stores after the consumer has done all the work to facilitate the sale is starting to backfire. Consumers who are working harder than ever for their money are feeling shortchanged by this dismal approach by retailers and a mediocre buying experience.
Customers are now waking up and expecting an engaging experience on the sales floor with someone who knows all about the products they sell, and can even share their own personal experiences with the products. Customers expect salespeople to get to know them, their needs and buying habits. They now expect demonstrations and recommendations from sharp knowledgeable staff who are in tune with the customer and who they are. More than that, the customer expects an engaging experience that is also very interactive. Even a great one way demonstration of a product for a customer just isn’t enough. The sales person needs to then put the product in the hands of the customer such as a camera or power tool and ask them to get the feel of it and even perhaps master one aspect of the product. A customer who has a shopping trip like this is totally engaged in the experience and even subconsciously envisions owning the product themselves.
The customer experience I’ve portrayed is a far cry from the lonely ritual of Internet research and then placing an order with an ill-informed and indifferent sales clerk. Customers will insist on engagement, interaction and authority from their sales people in the future. Rightly so, it makes sense, it works and it makes sales!
Just imagine how much more business you can add to your stores and the loyalty you’ll build when you differentiate yourselves from your lackluster competitors. However. they’ll eventually wake up to this new trend soon, so it’s critical that your organization is first in delivering the new customer experience.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
1) Evaluate the knowledge and skills level of your employees. Can they demonstrate and discuss products with confidence and authority?
2) Do employees understand the concept of customer engagement?
3) Are sales demonstrations interactive?
retail, sales, customers, service, engagement, consumers
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