Customer care – The key to a successful festive season
The festive season is becoming known not only for giving a boost to retailers but with a growing online presence through customer care, it can also be a bumper year for e-tailers as well. If the Black Friday and Cyber Monday trend is anything to go by, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to bargains.
Whether you are a bricks and mortar retailer or an on-line e-tailer, customer service remains the key to making successful sales. For retailers, it is about gearing up for year-end sales and making sure you are adequately prepared to address the festive rush.
Make them choose you
What little money people have to spend you need to make sure that customers notice you, your store and your service. Get into the festive spirit – add festive lights, music and perhaps hand out sweets to the kids or offer a free wrapping service as a value add.
Be well stocked and prepared
Whether you are a retail store or a restaurant, manage your stock control for the festive season, finding the right balance between avoiding stock-outs and over-stocking. Throughout the month of December, keep an extra-close watch on stock levels, so that any shortages can be identified in good time and quickly replenished.
Offer incentives to increase turnover
Consumers may be in the mood to spend but they will never pass up a bargain. Offer a discount for purchases of two or more or have an add-on special to a regular item. Think out of the box to increase turnover and make it a bumper season.
Train, train and train again
Give your staff an extra training boost to cope with the festive season rush. This is not the time to have surly and tired sales staff. They need to get into the festive spirit – follow the American trend of saying ‘have a Merry Xmas’ as a goodbye and train them to be extra helpful and cheerful. Give them incentives to achieve personal targets so that they can also get into the spirit of the season and get rewarded for their efforts.
How you treat customers over the festive season – especially new customers – can mean future business during the course of the year. If there are returns or dissatisfied customers, remember that they have the Consumer Protection Act on their side, but by being accommodating and pro-active, you will also keep that customer.
Aim for the long term
The most important objective is to attract and maintain customer loyalty. Use the festive season to really make an impression on old and new customers so that, in every other month of the year, they will be back and recommend you to their friends.
Step up your marketing
Don’t rely only on walk-in business – promote to existing and potential customers through a spectrum of media, including email marketing, online advertising and social media. Promote new lines and specials that will give you the edge over your competitors.
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