We might make it our mission to ensure our stores seem calm, organised and straight-forward, but for most High Street retailers, behind the scenes, things are often anything but.
In today’s fast-paced and increasingly chaotic retail landscape, many retailers are looking to expand or diversify their offerings to remain competitive and stay relevant to modern consumers. As a result, many High Street retailers are having to meet the expectations of not one – but multiple – customer bases.
Of course, mapping out clear and concise customer journeys for numerous customer bases is no simple task, often evoking questions such as:
- Am I prioritising one type of customer over another?
- Are my staff properly trained to meet the needs of multiple audiences entering my stores?
- Are customers walking out of my stores because of hectic shop floors, long queues or a lack of organisation?
Here’s how to go about creating and managing multiple customer journeys in-store:
Knowledge is power
To meet the needs of all customers entering your stores, you need to know who they are and what they want.
One of the best approaches to achieve this is also one of the simplest: create customer personas. These could be based on anything from demographics, behaviours, motivators or goals – and ideally be backed up by actual data and analytics.
These personas will help you and your staff to better understand who your customer base is, and pinpoint their needs, behaviours, thoughts and feelings. Once these personas are firmly locked in place, you can then accurately map out the different customer journeys that might take place in-store, and look to optimise and improve them.
Popular British optical retail chain, Specsavers, is a brilliant example of this – the stores have both retail and clinical journeys happening across many of their stores. Customers entering a store could be there for audiology support, glaucoma support, general eye health and even supporting NHS departments with urgent eye care services.
Instead of treating all customers the same, Specsavers needed a dynamic solution that would help them to prioritise, assess and support all different scenarios taking place on the shop floor.
With Qudini’s innovative queue system and booking system software, Specsavers is now able to see the needs of all their customers. At the front of every store, a staff member greets customers and understands their needs, entering their details into the Qudini app and adding them to the digital queue for eyewear advice, glasses collections or optometrist services.
With Qudini’s software, staff can easily see customers added to their queue and select who to serve next based on priority, as well as transfer customers across digital queues as they move through their journey.
The new system has helped Specsavers’ Plymouth store to improve its customer experience and increase its average transaction value. Director of Specsavers Plymouth, Josie Forte, says:
“We see several hundred patients and customers each day; some are coming in for straight-forward purchases of glasses or contact lenses, others are coming in for slightly more complex clinical journeys.”
“What the Qudini app allows us to do is understand why someone has come into the practice and to ensure that they get to the right person at the right place at the right time, to have the best outcome possible.”
Identify your customer touchpoints
In today’s digital age, the customer experience is no longer limited to the four walls of a shop floor – it happens on social media, or through email, or at events. There are literally dozens of different channels that your customers will be interacting with you on, and while your multi-channel marketing team might have a fair idea of what’s going on, they’re not the ones interacting with your customers face-to-face when they enter a store.
The customer life cycle is a complex one – awareness, knowledge, consideration, selection, buying, satisfaction, retention, loyalty and advocacy – and as a result, there are numerous touchpoints to take into consideration.
Key to customer journey mapping is identifying these touchpoints and optimising them properly by identifying your channels and stages, and then defining areas where you and the customer cross paths.
On the shop floor, a simple approach to this is by keeping store staff up to date with what’s happening elsewhere – upcoming sales, new functions on your website, or what’s being promoted across social media. This way store staff are aware of the customer journey so far, and can interact with customers accordingly.
Give highly-engaged customers the experience they deserve
Just as no parent should have a favourite child, neither should brands show favoritism to anyone of its personas – but it happens, nonetheless.
And while you probably should devote an equal amount of attention to all your customer journeys, brands should also ensure highly engaged customers get the experience that they need.
Customers that are engaged on multiple fronts (they’re opening your emails, clicking on your social posts, looking at products on your website) spend an average of 4% more in physical stores and 10% more online than customers who only shop online or who only shop in-store, according to Harvard Business Review. Also, customers who interact with retail brands on multiple channels visit physical stores 23% more often over a six month period.
Regardless of the demographic, they belong to, think about how you can help these customers to gain better experience by knowing what they need and making it readily available for them when they visit a store. (Or, at least don’t make them wait in a slow-moving queue before they’re finally seen).
Qudini retail technology enables brands to build better relationships with customers by providing a transparent and well-managed waiting experience, ensuring a very calm and positive in-store customer experience.
Find out more about how we helped Specsavers implement digital queuing and appointment scheduling software.