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Customer Experience Key to Brick-and-Mortar Businesses

Online shopping has made ordering products easier, added new ways to advertise and promote, and has enabled customers to compare prices among different retailers. However, online shopping is still missing one thing—the in-store customer experience.

In order to learn what customers expect and want out of their experience at your home improvement store, it’s important to gather feedback and listen. Then, use this feedback and watch your customer base grow. According to Econsultancy, only 26-percent of companies have developed a strategy for improving the customer experience.

According to Rightnow’s Customer Experience Impact Report, “89-percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.” Continue finding ways to improve your customer experience, so customers do not leave your store and head to the big box retailer down the road.

One way to create brand loyalty is through an engaging social media presence. A Bain & Company Report found that consumers who engage with companies via social media spend anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent more with those companies. Social media is a great way to answer customers’ questions and assure them that their voice is being heard. The key component of an effective social media plan, however, is to stay involved. Only 50 percent of consumers allow one week for a brand to respond to their question; after that, they stop doing business with that company, according to RightNow’s Customer Experience Impact Report. Make sure a manager or sales associate is managing online activity and is staying engaged with followers.

A focused strategy on customer experience that truly listens to customer feedback and implements changes will provide great value to the company in the long run. RightNow found that 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for better customer service and a better customer experience. Customers see the value in a holistic experience. They do not just shop based on prices, but on the inclusive experience.

According to the Vice President at World Service, “American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service, and they will also tell, on average, twice as many people about bad service than they are about good service.” Dedicating time and resources to improving this element of marketing is a vital part of generating future growth in the ever-evolving retail atmosphere.

About Sara Logel

As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.

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