US businesses annually lose an estimated $83 million due to poor customer service, according to Parature. 62 percent of US consumers have switched brands in the past year due to poor customer service. If you don’t give customers a good reason to set foot in your store, they’ll shop online instead.
Online shopping is on the rise, but brick-and-mortar stores don’t have to suffer. They can keep up by improving their in-store customer service – a resource that isn’t available online.
To improve customer service, store managers should ask themselves: What makes my store unique? When are the best sales opportunities? To make the most sales, managers should showcase their store’s unique features during their peak times. You may think you know the answers to these questions, but how can you know for sure? The only way is to rely on accurate and consistent reports.
People counting software can provide detailed data accounts for each day, such as:
- How many visitors made purchases?
- How many didn’t?
- When were the peak times?
- How many employees were on the clock during peak times?
- How many during nonpeak times?
Traditional methods just don’t cut it. In order to influence your customers, you need to know where and when they are shopping. While a POS system can provide plenty of information about sales, it can’t provide any insight to customers who browse without buying. That’s the secret to improving sales – nurturing browsers until they become buyers.
Here are three ways that store managers can improve their in-store customer service using a people counting software system:
1. Eliminate showrooming
Are you losing in-store customers to the internet? Again, the only way to know for sure is with a people counting system. With people counting data, you can examine your traffic in-house and online to identify showrooming – the act of browsing in-store and then buying online. See it as an opportunity to improve your in-store customer service: show showroomers how useful your staff can be.
2. Compare sales with stronger stores
Are you performing as well as other stores in your enterprise? People counting software can determine the difference between your peak traffic hours and transaction hours and when they overlap. And by comparing the weak and the strong, you can determine what your store might be missing.
For example: Perhaps your problem is understaffing during peak times. You can compare your employee and transaction numbers during peak and nonpeak times to figure that out.
3. Optimize and allocate labor
Make sure you have the right staff at the right time. People counting data allows you to reallocate labor and increase revenue. With people counting software, you can analyze hourly fluctuations of foot traffic and evaluate employee performance. You can do so by examining conversion and traffic rates and how they are related. This information can give insight into which employees are skilled enough to be scheduled during peak times, which employees need more training and how many employees are needed for an adequate shopper-to-associate ratio.
For example: Customer service can be as simple as keeping your fitting room staffed at all times. Customers often need assistance while trying on clothes. If you don’t schedule a skilled fitting room attendant each shift, you are missing out on opportunities to offer in-store expertise.
Your store employees are assets that your customers can use to their advantage. Online stores simply don’t offer the same real-life, face-to-face experience. Exceptional customer service will give your store a competitive edge.