Shining – © Alex
There may be doom and gloom in the media from the big high street chains, but that could be great news for smaller businesses.
It appears that shoppers are now taking more time over their purchases; looking for great deals, not always the cheapest. Some of my clients, who are nearer the top end of their market place, are seeing an increase in customers looking for the ‘right’ value. The consumer, who used to be into ‘quick and disposable’, now seems to be looking for a products that last.
Sales in, what may be considered, the lower end food retailers has been increasing. As is the spend in ‘everything for a pound’ type shops. But when it comes to buying those discretionary purchases, there appears to be an overall shift to more expensive ‘trusted’ brands.
As the consumer landscape changes, small businesses are well placed to beat the competition by adapting their offer. And not have to fight on price.
I personally prefer to shop where I get great service and good value.
What do I mean?
Well, I recently purchased a new camera. I could have bought it online, but I didn’t totally trust that I would get exactly what I wanted without some professional help. I am glad to say that the store I visited had a team that love photography, they even had someone who semi-professionaly uses the camera I was interested in.
Suffice to say, with their keen guidance, I purchased the equipment I needed, not just wanted, from them. A few pounds more than online, but overall a saving as I only purchased the right things. Also, I am still happy with my purchase several months later. I felt confident that I was doing the right thing.
Although I had retailers in mind when I started this article, this applies to all of us in businesses. Provide excellent customer service; which includes helping the customer purchase what is right for them, rather than just get them to spend as much as possible.
It’s all about building the relationship – developing trust and loyalty and an understanding of the value your business adds to the customer experience.
What one thing could you improve this month, in your customer service process, to make your customers want to keep coming back to you?