According to the latest BRC-Springboard Footfall Monitor January 2017, overall footfall for the month was 1.3% down on last year, its worst performance since the 2.8% fall in June 2016.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive British Retail Consortium, said: “At a time when retail is being re-imagined as customers seek more engaging experiences in our high streets, town centres and retail park and centres, the incentive for retailers to innovate and invest in physical space is being curtailed by the upward only trajectory of business rates.” Source: BRC
With these challenges taking their toll on the retail sector from a number of angles it’s clear that business owners need to differentiate themselves from the digital upstarts. There is a positive though, location based retailers are in a unique position to offer the consumer something which is not available online. Face to face interactions are by far the biggest advantage for physical store locations and retailers need to capitalise on this factor.
How do I improve my store performance and increase footfall?
The one thing which drives store performance above everything else is an immersive customer experience with a personal touch. Whilst the investment in physical space is always an important factor for retailers, the customer journey in stores is even more crucial. Without a high-quality team providing the service levels anticipated by customers, even the most elaborate flagship store can under-perform.
Mystery Shopping helps stores to maintain and increase the quality of face to face customer service, by checking on those all-important key stages of the purchase/service journey. Whether that’s how long it takes to acknowledge the customer or how you introduce them to the product which matches their needs. The composite elements which go into delivering a great store experience can be broken down into core segments. These help customer insight teams and operations managers build an overall picture of the how they are performing on an ongoing basis.
Every retailer tells a slightly different story however these core fundamentals can be applied to all customer journeys.
Tips for focusing on the customer experience journey
- Make the customer feel welcome
- Be there when they need you
- Match the product or service to their needs
- Help them to make good decisions
- Confirm the sale
Tern helps UK companies drive the quality of customer service by providing detailed retail customer insights which can include video mystery shopping, telephone mystery shopping and online mystery shop. We can support you in understanding both your physical stores experience alongside your online journeys.