The covid-19 lock down has created great challenges for retailers. With people unable to visit certain retail establishments and many others receiving only limited access, it has caused both stress and uncertainty for store owners and their customers. As things begin to open up, retailers can be assured that there will be a lot of trepidation by consumers, demanding that they be handled with extra care.

 

Although the health danger will likely pass in a relatively short while, what will not pass as quickly is the anxiety that shoppers feel. They will have to wear masks, social distance and be aware of their surroundings. With this as the new reality, it is incumbent on retailers to do all they can to put consumers at ease. After all, a comfortable shopper spends more and frequents that business more often. Statistics back this up as a tip for retailers. Brands that engage their customers successfully can experience over 200 percent higher customer loyalty.

 

With this in mind, if you are a retailer, you should do things that support your customers psychologically after the covid-19 lock down. Here are a few things you should do to put those who come into your business in the best state of mind.

 

Play Music in Your Retail Outlet

Music is perhaps the most overlooked and least appreciated way to increase the amount of customer traffic, time spent in your store, and sales. Music soothes people and makes them feel comfortable about being there. They inadvertently find themselves singing or humming along to popular types of melodies and browse longer. Smart companies set up their own in-store radio stations and place product promotions in between songs. This psychologically connects their products to a popular song making the purchase of that product seem natural. 

 

Ramp Up Your Customer Service

If people come to your store because they have questions or problems, you need to make sure that your team goes the extra mile. Remember, people are stressed and afraid and if they are bringing you a problem it is likely one they want attention paid to. Even if it appears to be something small, your team needs to make sure that they are being properly attended to. If a solution will take time let them know why and be specific about the exact steps and the amount of time it will take. If they cannot be helped, explain to them clearly why this is the case and offer them alternative solutions. 

 

Consider offering the type of help you might not normally which might include extending warranties or taking returns that you might not normally. Let your customers know of this special accommodation and it will be appreciated and improve your customer satisfaction and sales. Finally, always have your employees be polite even if the customer is not. 

 

Set the Right Example

Make sure that you set clear policies for your customers and that your employees observe these policies as well. If you have a policy that says masks are mandatory, make sure that everyone on your staff wears one with no exceptions. Also, always have additional masks handy for customers in case they forget theirs.

 

De-Escalate

If there is any tension at your store, focus on de-escalating the situation and only call police or security if the situation really gets out of hand. Usually if someone gets angry, they will calm down in a minute and everything will be fine. Try and give them this minute. However if a customer gets physical or destroys any property you should call the authorities.

Play happy and calm music rather than any violent or abrasive music in your retail outlet. You will be surprised at the calming effect it will likely have. Also make sure that your employees are not overstressed, Give them frequent breaks and make sure to rotate anyone in a high stress position. Do these things and it will help you to get your business ramped up again. #SalesOfTheMind

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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