How well do you know your customers?
We talk a lot about customer service in retail but how well do you actually know your customers? The more you know about your customers, the more you can use that information when doing your purchasing, your targeted advertising campaigns and even when deciding on new store locations. E-commerce stores spend a lot of time and effort tracking their clients’ behaviours, saving their information and using it for future campaigns. We need to adopt a similar mindset with brick and mortar retail too.
A great exercise to go through for your store is to do some customer profiling. By this I mean looking into the data you have available and putting it into percentages for example. How many of your customers are male or female, where do they live, what age bracket are they in, do they have children etc.
The more you know about your customers, the better you can target them.
If you have limited data available, then fill in the blanks with educated guesses. Spend a week doing a customer review report where you & your team write down everything you can about each customer after they leave. The results may surprise you. Use it as a challenge to get your team to ask customers more questions – even, ‘have you come far today? Do you live in the area?’.
I used to have customer data forms on my cash desk area with a pen, ready for customers to complete. Nothing long, just a few key questions on an A5 size paper and an incentive to complete it either to enter a weekly draw for a gift card or as part of the sign up for our loyalty program.
The Top 5 things you should find out about your customers and why….
- Email address – for obvious marketing reasons.
- Age bracket – to help you identify future product types.
- Something relevant to your store concept – for example in a baby store it was how many children they had & the age of the children.
- Where they live – doing a geographical survey on where your customers are coming from is very important to know. It can help with future marketing planning and store location analysis for expansion.
- What other stores are they shopping in around your area & what are their favourite brands. Find out where else they are spending their shopping dollars and use this for potential future collaborations and product category expansion.
In summary, the more you know about your customers the better you can run your business to target them and the more you can personalise their shopping experience to suit them.