Every business owner makes mistakes when starting out, but there are five common mistakes that just can’t be excused.
Running a store is tough, especially for small business retailers that are still building their customer bases. Every business owner makes mistakes when he or she is just getting a new store off the ground, but there are some errors in judgment that just can’t be excused. Read on to find out about five common mistakes retailers make and how to avoid them.
Creating a Bad First Impression
Store owners only have one chance to make a first impression on their customers and most new customers will form that first impression before even speaking with a member of the staff. If stores are messy or difficult to navigate, it’s going to scare potential customers away for good. Make a point of buying high-quality Retail Display Racks and keeping them organized so that customers can find everything they need.
Overdoing the Upsells
There are plenty of benefits to making the occasional upsell, but every customer has a breaking point. It’s fine to move impulse buys to the front of the store near the register where customers will have less time to consider their purchases or to have cashiers mention one important promotion. If customers feel like the store’s employees are wasting their time or taking advantage of them, though, they’ll look elsewhere for service.
Confusing Speed with Good Service
Some niche industries thrive on providing speedy service, but speed and efficiency aren’t everything. Customers should never feel like they’re being rushed through a conversation or, even worse, rushed out the door. Creating brand loyalty requires time and full emotional engagement, so business owners should encourage their employees to treat their customers as valued guests and give them the time they need to make informed purchases.
Ignoring Body Language
Nonverbal communication is just as important as verbal communication, yet many sales-people receive little to no training in how to read and respond to nonverbal cues. Ideally, business owners will find employees who already have a good understanding of body language but most people can also learn how to read nonverbal cues more accurately with adequate training. Not everyone instinctively understands body language, but the basics are pretty simple.
Employees shouldn’t keep their backs to the door as customers are coming in, nor should they cross their arms while they’re speaking to customers, as these two signals send the message that they’re not willing to help. Want to go a step further? Consider setting up a training seminar in customer behavior and nonverbal communications for existing employees.
Employees are a retail store’s greatest asset. They greet customers, direct them to products, and help them make important purchasing decisions so if they’re not happy with their jobs it can have a huge impact on a store’s bottom line. Take the time to get feedback from employees and use it to improve the work environment. Even if it requires making a few changes, money and time spent on keeping employees happy is always well invested.
The Bottom Line
Running a retail store is tough, especially for business owners who are still working to build loyal customer bases and get the brand recognition they need to expand. Don’t make it harder than it has to be by committing these common mistakes. Instead, invest time and money into improving customers’ experience in the store now so they’ll keep coming back.