Retail sales are moving from brick-and-mortar stores to online, but doesn’t mean you can slack on your in-store service. In fact, customers rank in-store experience lower than digital and mobile experiences across all retailers. More than half of customers are prepared to leave a brand they love after a few bad experiences, so maintain high-quality customer service is essential.
Customer Experience: What Customers Expect
According to customers, the number one reason they take their business elsewhere is encountering employees with a bad attitude. Other top offenders include unfriendly service, a lack of trust in the company, employees who don’t know their stuff.
Employees aren’t the only problem, as more business are employing artificial intelligence and chatbots to handle their customer service inquiries, consumers feel that companies are losing the personal touch. More than 70% of people would rather interact with another person than chatbot or automated process.
Consumers don’t just expect great service, they’re willing to pay for it. One study found that customers will pay as much as 14% more for a hotel stay that offers a good customer experience.
Radio Shack: What Not To Do
In the 1980s, Radio Shack was known as place to get hard-to-find electronics parts. They employed a well-trained and knowledgeable staff ready to help you troubleshoot and find solutions to electronics issues.
When Radio Shack decided to change its business model, opting to only sell finished products, they lost their specialized staff and the unique niche they had created. By 2016, they were ranked lowest for customer experience of all retailers in the United States. A year later, in 2017, Radio Shack closed more than 1,000 stores.
The Apple Store: Gold Standard Service
While most electronics retailers in the United States have been struggling, the Apple store has managed to rise to the top. With only 270 stores, Apple Stores make more than $35.8 million in sales each year. That’s 5 times the sales made by Best Buy, with only one-fifth the stores. In 2018, Apple’s customer loyalty rate hit a record high at 90%. Likely to due to a customer service model that Apple modelled on the hospitality of Ritz-Carlton’s hotels.
Here are some ways you can model your customer-service after Apple:
- Greet every customer warmly
- Take reservations to reduce wait time
- Address customers by name
- Offer training workshops to teach new skills
- Send them off with a fond farewell
Check-out this infographic to learn more about Apple’s hospitality training: