Shopper Experience: cuatro consejos rápidos para mejorar la experiencia del cliente de primera línea
I have been involved with local businesses in different capacities for over 16 years, whether that was retail, hotel/hospitality or, currently, the spa industry. There is a common theme that will make or break local brands, and that is how frontline employees treat the customer.
Many business owners focus all their efforts on driving in new clients, which tends to be the most expensive part of marketing. Then they focus on retaining new and existing customers, which also costs marketing dollars. This is a great strategy, except when you do not have the right employees interacting with your customers from the minute they walk in the door. The most sophisticated lead generation and retention strategies won’t mean a thing if your frontline employees are losing customers.
You must spend time to ensure that employees who are in contact with customers live up to your brand image and standards. I sometimes see this problem at higher end spas: The employees don’t match the impression you get from the website or the marketing materials. If you market your business as a luxury spa but clients are not greeted or treated in a way that reflects this, your customer will never come back or leave you a good review.
So, what does this look like in practice?
Hire for personality fit and solicit feedback.
Look for those warm and kind individuals who genuinely are this way. It isn’t always easy to detect this in the interview process, but trust your gut. A good way to tell if your employees are meeting this standard is to ask your friends to mystery shop your business without you there and offer feedback on the experience they had with your employees.
If you do not use NPS (Net Promoter Score), I suggest you implement a system that allows customers to send you direct feedback. In my experience, people love to do this.
Ensure management prioritizes ‘wow’ moments.
Does your management team understand what right looks like? On occasion, I see team leaders not making the front-line experience a priority. They need to understand how important it is for your customers to have “wow” experiences, as this is what will make them more apt to come back and spend more money. Managers are your eyes on the ground, so ask them to pay attention to how consistently your expected experience is being delivered.
Incentivize your employees.
A good way to make this happen quicker is to incentivize your staff or leadership team. If you implement NPS or look at customer reviews, give employees a bonus if they hit certain scores. This could be a cash bonus, extra vacation time or just a gift certificate. Putting rewards toward this goal will show your team how much you value it and how important it is.
Show employees what it looks like in practice.
If you are unsure of exactly what the experience should look like, go to a business that you think truly lives and breathes hospitality. One standout company is the Four Seasons hotel group. Spend a night at the hotel or take your leadership team there for a dinner. It is much easier to have employees see what others that are considered industry experts in customer experience are doing so they can emulate it.
Remember, before you spend big marketing dollars, you need to focus on getting your employees up to a level that you feel matches your brand image. Give your customers an amazing and unforgettable experience.