Top 10 Things I learned in my 15+ years working in Retail & CX
- Know your customer VERY well — There’s no better way to get to know anyone than by observing and interacting with them. We naturally befriended our customers because we REALLY cared about them. We kept up with their personal events, celebrated their milestones, and continually listened to their ever-changing motivations, frustrations, and needs.
- Community Matters — Build a company customers will be proud of being a part of. Values are important — Most people are inherently good and love identifying with a worthy cause.
- Transparency above all — Open lines of communication help build mutual respect, earn customer trust, and encourage healthy b2c relationships.
- Tell good stories and share about you — People are smart and curious. They appreciate openness, kinship, and even vulnerability from time. Storytelling helps to further strengthen the bond between us and our customers. “The most endearing four words in the history of mankind are ‘Once upon a time’” — Rabbi Rietti
- Communicate at eye-level — The last thing you want to do is put an unnecessary barrier between you and your customers. Speak in their language so they feel at home and (at least) as equals. It’s also important to be direct and frank about products, policies, and anything else.
- Customer needs > Your ego — ALWAYS test and ask customers about the products and experiences you’re building. Just because something seems like a great idea to you does not mean it is needed or is good for them.
- Be unconditionally generous; GIVE, GIVE, AND GIVE SOME MORE — An unexpected gift at point of purchase, no strings attached, will leave a lasting impression and help build customer trust and a stronger brand relationship. Empower your employees to give as well, and set an example by doing the same for them!
- Practice Ethical selling — Actions speak louder than words. There are no shortcuts when it comes to great CX, you have to prove yourself trustworthy and consistent to earn customer loyalty. Your customers will know you truly have their best interests at heart if you don’t oversell, and happily point them in a better direction if your product or service isn’t the right fit. You’d be surprised by how many friends they’ll recommend back to you.
- Balance policy with strategic exceptions — Know that being confident in your product or service value is important, but the ability to listen and be flexible in different circumstances and make quick decisions in your customer’s favor will set you apart as an honest and caring brand.
- Keep learning — To be able to continually deliver value and improve your CX, you’ll need to be constantly studying your customers’ behavior and needs. Remember — these factors are AWAYS evolving. (Age groups, values, needs, frustrations, motivations, etc.) The
And BONUS — Just be a nice person.
We’re all human, and get hit with curveballs like hard times, mood swings, pandemics(!) and other discouragements sometimes. There were so many times I struggled because I had to be there for a customer/client when I had plenty of personal things going on and also needed time for myself. I’ve learned that caring about your customers is a 24/7/365 adventure, in good times and in bad.
In addition to learning different courses and tools to grow professionally, make sure to invest time in doing things that will improve your happiness and wellbeing. The dividends for you in business (and of course otherwise!) are immeasurable.
Signing off for now,