What’s the scariest thing about the holidays? Shopping! We’ve all seen the viral videos of people making a mad dash through the front doors of a store on Black Friday. Then there’s the bottleneck of impatient customers at the checkout line.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. The holidays are supposed to be fun, remember? Believe it or not, there are easy ways to improve the holiday shopping experience of your customers. In fact, you can provide them with a calm, enjoyable visit to your store that they’re likely to remember long after the holiday shopping season ends. What follows is a list of tips to improve the holiday shopping experience for your customers.
Good Customer Service
One of the main reasons that shopping during the holidays is so hectic is because customers are, well, absolutely out-of-their-minds frantic. Most of the time, they’re on a time crunch and a budget crunch. So how can you ensure that their shopping experience at your establishment will be satisfying and perhaps even calming? Great customer service. Taking the time to hire and train employees to be knowledgeable and efficient when dealing with customers will not only see them through to the checkout line, but it will keep them coming back when the holiday shopping season ends.
The Holidays Are Fun, Remember?
The holidays can be an overwhelming time for customers and businesses. A never-ending barrage of customers can be frustrating for your employees. However, in order for your customers to have a good shopping experience, it’s important that every one of your employees remains in good spirits. Make sure your employees feel valued during this time. Provide incentives for exemplary customer service, and, of course, throw a totally awesome holiday party.
Make Sure You Are Fully Staffed
A good way to prepare for the inevitable holiday rush that your store will experience, take a look about at last year’s trends and numbers. What days of the week and what time of the day was it busy? If you said “All day, everyday,” you might want to hire some additional holiday help. Also, keep in mind that some employees might get sick, which tends to happen during the cold-weather months. Remember, it might cost a little more to have extra help on hand, but if you are short staffed, you can be sure that customers won’t be happy with their shopping experience.
Have an Efficient Check-Out Process
If your checkout lines look like a bottleneck on the expressway, you might want to rethink how customers pay for their purchases. Incorporate a mobile payment system in which employees can accept credit cards using mobile devices like an iPhone, iPad or an Android. This way, customers can check out from any point in the store. It might even increase impulse purchases by eliminating the time it takes for customers to opt out. Most importantly, though, improving the check-out process for customers will eliminate stress and leave them with a good shopping memory of your store.
‘Tis Better To Give
Partnering with a charity can be a great way to make customers feel good about the purchases they make. Whether it’s a few helpful holiday items that you donate or a percentage of proceeds from a weekend of sales, it makes people feel good to know that the money they spend at a store will go to help a good cause, especially around the holidays.