Thursday, May 9, 2013

Who don’t like a free candy?

Hello all it has been long time since the last blog, nevertheless I am back and back with yet another story.

Before I Start let me ask you a? Do you like to have a candy OR toffee OR chocolate OR any other small gift and that to for free…?  Is the answer YES? …… Ok…Registered YES is the answer.

Today I have to share few view points on customer satisfaction and delight.
We all remember going to a retailer for our needs and generally it’s a monthly affair, we all procure our monthly needs for cereals, flour, sugar, salt and other related spices on a monthly basis or some even do it for a 2 months or so.

But one thing which I have noticed during years which remains the same is the retailer from where we purchase, why is it so? The answer is the experience.
The retailer know you and your preferences as you do repeat business with him month on month, knows your preferences, educates you on new products and benefits remembers your face and give you a welcoming smile when you arrive and if it’s a lucky day your younger ones will get a free candy as well.

So we all loved that experience, but that is history now the stores have changed the formats have changed and so does the generation.

But the basic for customer retention and delight remains the same, customer’s experience while shopping has to be good. The free candy has now changed to promotions for loyal customers and point system and loyalty cards and so on.

Customer satisfaction in earlier time (time when we used to get a free candy once in a while) and customer satisfaction now (when we get a discount coupon etc.) have the same agenda to retain the customer.

And everyone know that 1 satisfied customer is the best advertisement and the 80-20 principle, so it is evident that its always better to retail and satisfy your existing customers and should never sacrifice the existing customer for a new customer.

Coming back to what I asked
? Do you like a free candy?

The essence behind this is that the retailers must know how make their customers feel happy, the retailers doesn’t offer free candies to everyone but he only offers it to his selected customer who made repeat purchases. However earlier retailers don’t have options to communicated more frequently with the customer as email, sms and Social media were not there and the maximum times communication happens only while the customer is at store. But now thinks have changed with the advent of  POS software and Inventory Management Software retailers have options to send across SMS’s and emails to their customers on their birthdays, anniversaries or during festive season or during any special offer or schemes.

This retail software also helps in setting promotions and free gift options for the loyal customers giving them a sense of belongingness towards the store.

Customer also has his own life cycle towards a store and take its own time to reach the Advocate level for the business after series of good experiences.

Initially without making a purchase customer is still a prospect, one the purchase is made he becomes a customer, on doing repeat purchase he becomes a client and then graduate to Advocate which is the highest level through which he does word of mouth publicity for the business.

So to delight the customer in today’s age it is clear that retailers must engage their existing customers to have

· Repeat Business
· Reference
· Word of mouth publicity and
· An everlasting Bond

With the help of retail software retailers today have various means to engage with their customers through:

· Free Gifts
· Sending birthday & anniversary greetings on sms and email
· Communicating during festive time
· Giving options on different promotions and more

Time changes but the basics of engagement remains the same. The way we don’t forget our old / exiting friends for making new friend, we should never neglect or unknowingly avoid our existing customer for new ones.
Hope you have liked the blog.

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RetailGraph Team
SoftWorld (India) Pvt. Ltd.

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