How To Retain Customers In Retail: Avoid These Mistakes

Running a modern retail business is no small task. The bread and butter of merchants (and their employees) depend on customers- and their customers’ satisfaction. How often (and how soon) a customer comes back once they’ve left your store is vital for small business growth.

Even with all good intentions, store owners often fall into the trap of making a few blaring mistakes that can affect their retention levels. Make sure you’re not making these common customer loyalty mistakes.

 1. Ignoring customer feedbackcustomer-satisfaction-retention-retail-store

Customer voices are like nuggets of wisdom for your store. Being open to feedback is pivotal for your business. If a customer leaves feedback, always make sure to follow up with them so that they feel like they’re being listened too.

Don’t take customer feedback personally. Customers don’t leave feedback to personally attack you- they’re just not happy with a certain aspect of their overall experience. Often, their only concern is their own pain points and they just want to see improvement in service. 

2. Attracting customers with an over-promise (and then under-delivering)

Always set customer expectations realistically. If people come to your store anticipating an average experience, you can attract them by surprising them with exceptional service. Try to get customers on board with an under-promise, and always strive to deliver beyond those expectations. Focus on creating moments of “customer delight” once they’re in your store. You’ll then see your loyal customer base expand dramatically. By becoming your brand’s biggest cheerleader, these customers will create more business opportunities.

3. Depending on heavy discountingScreen Shot 2014-07-02 at 1.14.40 AM

If you frequently rely on discounts for boosting sales, a large chunk of your customer base will comprise of the ‘bargain hunters’ over time. These people are always on the look out for a good deal and the moment you can no longer afford to provide that, you’ll find these customers switching over to the competition – killing your business in the process.

Instead, focus on building an enviable collection of products and make sure that your visitors always find something they like at your store.

A basic bottleneck in terms of achieving higher customer retention rates is lack of actionable data, according to a Deloitte research report. The paper suggests that there’s a fundamental disconnect between the way a retailer interprets loyalty data and the actions that they perform based on that. Small business owners often don’t define proper retention metrics and even when they do, they fail to keep up with those metrics.

What are your experiences with retaining customers in your retail store? Share your experiences in the comments below! 

Image Credits: Jirsak/Shutterstock, Dusit/Shutterstock, Stockshoppe/Shutterstock


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