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Show Your Customers Love All Year Long

Focus Groups Calgary

As Valentine’s Day draws closer people across Canada think of love. Whether you have had it for years, have recently found it, or are still looking for that special someone Valentine’s Day tends to stick in your mind. For the past few weeks stores across Canada have been turning pink and red in preparation. As many shoppers search for the perfect gift to mark the occasion retailers look for ways to better engage with customers and boost customer satisfaction. Every customer interaction is like a blind date: Neither party is really sure what to expect, but if a connection is made then it can lead to a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

In order to stay competitive retailers need to offer more than just quality products. Superior customer service is what keeps your customers coming back to you instead of purchasing the same or similar products elsewhere. Especially in the age of digital shopping, when computers can recommend products based on every other product your customer has ever purchased from them, keeping up can feel like a challenge. Salesforce Research’s 2015 Connected Shopper Report found that 31 percent of customers expect store associates to know what they previously purchased in store, but only 10 percent of customers were offered recommendations or deals based on their purchase histories. A full half of consumers that shop in stores stated they were more likely to shop at a certain retailer based on the technology store associates used to assist them. Unfortunately, many retailers are still falling short in this area.

To help you better connect with your customers here are 5 ways you can make that blind date turn into true love.

  1. Empower your frontline employees
    Research has found that 48 percent of in-store shoppers believe they typically know more about the store’s product than the store associate does. This has drastically reduced the customer’s confidence in the store, since even though 47 percent will still ask an associate for their opinion 67 percent are unsure if the associate is even telling them the truth. This disconnect has become such a problem that 28 percent of customers feel that robots could easily replace store associates

    The best way to regain customer confidence is to empower your frontline employees, just like we do at StyleLabs. By giving your employees the freedom and autonomy to fix customer issues on their own drastically improves the customer’s shopping experience. A survey conducted by Salesforce found that 90 percent of customers would pay more if they could ensure they would receive a superior customer service experience. A joint study by the Deloitte and the Retail Council of Canada agrees with this, stating that investing in technology that allows employees to easily look up product information and selection is a fantastic way to ensure that your employees do not have less information about your products than the customer walking in the door.

  2. Think beyond the transaction
    The path to a purchase use to be a fairly straight line, with the customer determining what product they want, selecting it, and then purchasing it. In the digital age customers now cross many channels (both online and in-store), encountering a variety of points of influence along the way. Social media, online communities and word of mouth recommendations play a huge role in determining whether or not a customer will decide to finalize a purchase. In order to woo customers retailers need to look beyond the transaction and consider these points of influence. Likes on a Facebook page, tweets about a product, chatter in a forum, all of these points of influence have an effect on customers. Combining a customer’s product history with their social history and loyalty data provides retailers with a well rounded and holistic view of their customers, and allows them to cultivate personalized relationships with them, increasing customer loyalty.

  3. Shift the paradigm
    Empowering your employees so they can solve customer issues autonomously is only part of the equation. Employees need to have the tools and training to keep up with the modern consumer, especially millennials who are highly savvy users of technology, social media and mobile tools. Retailers need to shift their paradigms to include mobile, social and cloud technologies and train their workforce so that every employee is an expert that can take the customer service experience to a higher level. That is why all StyleLabs facilities are equipped with the high tech equipment needed to make the focus group run smoothly and productively. We will even record the entire session at your request so you can review it later for research purposes.

  4. Go above and beyond
    Customers remember the little things. A small gift given to thank your customer for choosing you makes a big impact. That is why StyleLabs offers thank you treats to all clients and offers free catering to first time clients. We also offer free printing of name tags, sign in sheets and profile sheets as well as free use of our high tech equipment so that you have the tools and resources you need to get the most out of your focus group.

  5. Show them they are more than just a wallet
    Good customer service is built on the idea that your customer is not just a transaction. Small personalized touches and warm and friendly staff reminds your clients that they are special and that you care about them. To help show we value our customers StyleLabs tracks what our client’s favourite beverages are so that we can always ensure we have it on hand for when you visit.

Customers now base 70 percent of their buying experience on how they feel they are treated, so it’s time to give your employees the power to show your customers some love. Whether you are meeting a new customer or greeting an existing one there is no better time to begin fostering a relationship this Valentine’s day and beyond.

StyleLabs is a Calgary based Market Research company with offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Winnipeg. For more information on how you could use market research to help you better connect with your customers call us at 587-880-3358 or use our contact form below.

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