10 Ways to Dazzle Your Customers with an In-Store Experience

Making sure your customers have the best experience when they shop at your brick-and-mortar location will turn them into loyal consumers who return frequently and buy even more from your store.

That’s why we asked 10 successful entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

Q. Brick-and-mortar stores have advantages over their online counterparts. What is one way you can make sure customers have a positive in–store experience they’ll want to repeat?

1. Focus on customer experience


For brick and mortar stores to survive in the age of online shopping, they need to focus on what they do best: providing product advice and insider knowledge like online sites never can. Nothing beats this. I browse in-store because it is enjoyable, and when accompanied by knowledgeable salespeople, I’ll take home 10 times more things than I would if I am just looking for a specific item online. —Vanessa NornbergMetal Mafia

2. Offer superior service


When you own a brick-and-mortar store, you can provide yourcustomers with high-touch and personalized customer service that they would not be able to get in an online setting. You can show different product demonstrations, offer in–store VIP programs and events, reconnect with old customers, and consider the overall customer experience from their perspective. —Kristin MarquetCreative Development Agency, LLC

3. Take advantage of the face-to-face encounter


If customers trust you, they will be loyal to you. That’s why transparency is so important. Keeping information secret and not being honest about your intentions will damage your relationship with customers. With a brick-and-mortar store, you have a chance to genuinely get to know your customers and their needs. Don’t treat them like any other patron. Smile and engage them, then find out their names and what brings them into your store. —Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

4. Observe, then suggest


One thing still missing (even with 24/7 customer service chats and phones) is the ability for a human being to make observations and suggest products. Websites can suggest other products that other customers frequently buy together, but that is not the same as saying, “Hey, I notice your dog is pulling you around the store. Can I offer a suggestion for a training product that might help with that?” —Alisha Navarro2 Hounds Design

5. Be sensitive to customers‘ shopping style


My favorite stores have this in common: The staff are attentive but not overly so. They don’t ask me if I need help every two minutes, but when I do need help, they know the stock well enough to respond intelligently. Sensitivity to the customer’s social preferences is key, and it’s something that online retail can’t replicate. —Vik PatelFuture Hosting


6. Make eye contact


One strong way to make sure customers have a glowingly positive in–store experience is training your staff to make eye contact and to smile. At my massage studio, our goal is to be “the best part of our clients’ day, every day.” —Rachel BeiderMassage Greenpoint


7. Be polite and offer free swag


We are primarily an online retailer, but we do get local pickup orders and it is essential that we wow them! We carry their items to the car for them and give them a free lanyard of their favorite sports team (Go Miami Heat!). Some customer place pick-up orders just to come see us, even though they know we offer free delivery. —Michael BarnhillSpecialist ID 


8. Provide in-store entertainment


Apple has done an incredible job with this, providing in–storeentertainment to their customers and making the environment enjoyable. Use digital displays, interactive games, and strong music that appeal to your target audience’s psychographics. As part of entertaining them, make sure you appeal to the five senses, with enticing scents, engaging visuals, and of course, fun music. —Marcela De VivoMulligan Funding

9. Let them test your products


Have presentations and demonstrations, or offer free samples of your product. Give people a hands-on experience that the internet can’t give them. No matter how big or small you are, you can take a tip from the big innovators like Apple. An Apple Store is more than a distribution point; it is an experience. To compete with the internet, you need to experiment with creative options. —Zev HermanSuperior Lighting

10. Design a welcoming space


In our mattress showrooms, we’ve trained our staff as sleep specialists to educate customers about our products and provide strategies for improving their sleep habits. We encourage customers to come in and take a nap, providing them with a space they can enjoy. For your retail store, design a welcoming space that encourages customers to come in, learn more about yourbrand and products, and simply relax. —Firas KittanehAmerisleep


More at:

How To Effectively Foster Customer Confidence In Your Brand. Rachel Beider for HuffPo


Any business leader knows that if someone isn’t buying what you’re selling — figuratively or in the most literal sense — your business isn’t going to last long. But how do you get customers and consumers to have as much trust and confidence in your brand and your company’s capabilities as you do? Here’s how the experts weighed in.

A. Be Attentive and Personalize Customer Support

Customer service goes a long way toward developing trust. If customers have questions or problems, they want to feel they can reach out and get an answer promptly from someone who knows what’s going on and can really help them. If your customer support is outstanding, people will be much more inclined to trust you and rate your business highly, even if you’re not always perfect. - Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

A. Connect and Communicate

Communication is key to retaining trust. Implement procedures to immediately connect with your client to find out what exactly went wrong. Genuinely thank them for bringing it to your attention. Then actually reconnect when the issue has been fixed. Encourage your entire team to thrive from your customers’ positive and negative feedback and you’ll have an army of loyal and supportive customers. - Meghan Larson, Adistry

A. Have a Consistent Marketing Strategy

Be consistent in your content marketing strategy. Post daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be consistent with your email marketing newsletter. All these efforts establish confidence that you’ll always be around and won’t just disappear on them one day. - Jared Atchison, WPForms

A. Establish an SEO Presence

People generally trust organic Google search results. If a brand wants to create trust with consumers, getting into those top three Google search results for your target keywords immediately establishes trust. Create blog posts with customer FAQs, execute backlink building campaigns and implement an SEO strategy to begin the journey of getting your company to rank well on Google. - Brett Farmiloe, Markitors - Digital Marketing Company

A. Show Off Your Expertise

If you want to win your consumers’ trust, you need to prove your value. Put out content that illustrates why your service or product is the best available option out there. A great way to do this is to get published on platforms your consumers already trust. Writing a piece for the industry’s leading publication will beat out a hundred half-hearted blog and social media posts every time. - Ryan Wilson, FiveFifty

A. Put Customers’ Interests First

People trust brands that appear to put their interests first. They don’t like brands that mislead, overpromise or are obviously manipulative. If you want to build trust, focus on building genuinely useful products and cultivating meaningful relationships with customers, not on wringing every last cent you can from them. - Vik Patel, Future Hosting

A. Encourage Feedback

We encourage our users to send us feedback about any issues they’re having or questions about their most recent purchase, our app or our website. We then try to get back to them as soon as possible. Providing consumers with the means of easily getting in touch and being able to quickly respond back to them is essential to building trust. - Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.

A. Connect Personally

Focus on building a relationship, getting to know your customers and sharing more about you as a company and team. Share and communicate, listen and help, and deliver on what you say. Consider it a two-way street and be open to feedback. - Cynthia Johnson, Ipseity Media

A. Be Responsive

A brand is a living story. You can’t just declare what it means and expect it to stick. You have to respond to attempts by the market to assign new parts to your brand identity. One of the worst ways your brand image can change is through bad experiences with your products. For example, a lot of airlines have recently had their brand defined by notable bad experiences. You have to be ready to respond. - Adam Steele, The Magistrate

A. Listen and React

Your customers are what keeps you in the game. Listening to them and responding will show them that they matter and also that they are heard. This line of communication is a direct builder of trust. - Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution

A. Deliver on Your Promises

The top way to create trust between your brand and consumers is to deliver what you promised and hold up your end of the bargain. Create a service or product that you can stand by with pride and integrity. If something goes wrong, handle it quickly and effectively to maintain trust. - Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, Massage Williamsburg

A. Create a Manifesto and Origin Story

People connect with other people. Spend time writing your manifesto. Talk about the values, the team and the current state of the company, including the warts. Get specific. Also, talk about why the company exists and how things came together. By pulling back the curtains, you give people the opportunity to resonate with you because they understand the “why.” - Ajay Paghdal, OutreachMama

A. Be Authentic

The key to creating trust between your brand and your consumers is consistent authenticity. The more genuinely your products and your process reflect your core values, the more naturally all stakeholders — including your customers — will cherish your offerings. - Adam Mendler, Custom Tobacco

A. Be Transparent and Consistent

People are looking for someone they can rely on and trust. No matter what you’re selling, your customers want to know that they can count on you and that you’ll be there for them in their time of need. They want to know that there are real people behind your brand who have the same values, goals and priorities as they do, so stand up for what you believe in and let them know about it. - David Tomas, Cyberclick

A. Enable a Steady Stream of Relevant Reviews

People read and rely on online reviews more and more every year. Ask your customers to leave reviews, good or bad, and keep a close eye on them. We’ve had great success attracting new customers by climbing the rankings through Yelp, local Google targeting, industry reviews, etc. We can tell clients how great we are, but until they read it from others, we have a hard time gaining their full trust. - Matt Murphy, Kids in the Game

Article from Huffington Post

4 Ways to Get to Know Your Customers Well

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Most businesses assume they know their customers, but if they were honest about it, they’re actually just familiar with the brand image they portray. If you want to serve your clients properly and provide value that’s most meaningful to them, you have to find out who they really are.

Get to Know Your Customers

The obstacle that prevents many firms from knowing their customers well is that they regard them as business entities, instead of organizations composed of actual people with personalities and identities.

If you’re going to serve your customers properly and add genuine value to their bottom line, you have to understand who they are on a directly personal level. Here are four strategies to help you do that.

Collaborate With Them

If you want to learn what it looks like to know and understand your customers, one of the best things you can do is study what other successful companies are doing. Bliss Media, one of Australia’s most successful digital marketing agencies, has a formula that works for its team … and might just work for you.

“Our approach is collaborative and adaptive,” Bliss Media states when it describes its process. “We want clients to be immersed in the project and creative process. Through activities like hands-on workshops, focus groups, user-journey mapping and user experience testing, we learn your business, and together uncover new customer insights. Our process includes our clients at key points from beginning to end.”

In other words, if you want to know your customers, involve them in what you’re doing. Not only does this help you build rapport, but it also gives your market some ownership in the process.

Utilize Social Media

Social media yields a treasure trove of opportunities for companies that are serious about understanding who their customers are. Unfortunately, many firms don’t fully utilize the information that’s right their at their fingertips.

Maintaining social media profiles and sending out posts every week is good, but outreach shouldn’t be your only tactic. Networks like Facebook and Twitter also have powerful analytics platforms built into their systems. These empower you to collect valuable insights with regard to demographics, interests, buying habits, and engagement with content.

Ask for Feedback

Massage Greenpoint in Brooklyn has found that a direct approach often works best. One of this company’s preferred methods of getting to know customers is by reaching out after client visits.

“We love the Listen360 customer feedback software, as it sends out a brief and easy-to-use survey after every appointment,” CEO Rachel Beider says. “We can immediately see who our promoters are and who had a less-than-perfect experience, which gives us an opportunity to reach out before we might lose that person as a customer.”

Research the History of the Business

For B2B businesses that have other companies as clients, it’s often helpful to research the history of the customer. You may have access to a lot of information about the firm as it stands today, but learning where it’s come from can help you get a better feel for the personality, flavor, and character of the operation behind closed doors.

Serve Your Customers’ Needs

It’s not enough simply to find out who your customers are. Once you’ve done your discovery and developed an intimate understanding of their needs, wants, interests, and background, you have to act upon the intelligence you’ve gathered to serve your clients’ needs in specific and tangible ways.

Customers want to work with businesses that add value to their lives. The easiest way to add value is by satisfying need, fulfilling a desire, or solving a pain point. Finding out how to fulfill these duties with more accuracy will strengthen your bond with your target market.

As seen in TG DAILY

By: Mariana Seiffert, 15th February 2018