Many retailers this year are anticipating Black Friday – but it’s different than in the past. Some customers will be splitting their time and money between Black Friday, November 25th and Cyber Monday, November 28th – the day where websites like Zappos and Amazon bring customers the best deals of the year. While many customers anticipate some pandemonium at the in-store experience, it’s important that although it’s a stressful day, you have a strategy to keep everything running smoothly. Black Friday is an exciting opportunity you have to attract new customers. You worked very hard to get these customers in the door – you don’t want them to leave your doors deflated by the actual experience. The customer experience of shoppers on Black Friday is even more important than other days because you are competing with so many other stores, online and offline. I have four simple tips to make Friday the 25th a good sales day for your brand.
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Here are my four tips for a powerful black Friday customer experience.
When it comes to holiday staffing it’s important you hire the right people and train them well. The first thing you need to do for your staffing model is find people who are have the right mindset and attitude to handle Black Friday. Handling customers the day after Thanksgiving is not for the faint of heart. Considering current events and political unrest in the country customers might even be more frantic than usual. Are your employees equipped to diffuse heated situations in the store? Will they be able to provide service with a genuine smile? Are they equipped to keep the store tidy and organized? Hire and train people who will keep your ship running smoothly. Do not skimp on recruitment and training. You will be happy when these new customers who stopped in for Black Friday remember you long after the holiday is over.
A Little Something Extra
When you think of Black Friday do you think of a relaxing day by the pool with a Mai Tai in hand? Probably not. Most of us associate Black Friday with frantic crowds, messy inventory and achy feet. What if you created something luxurious for customers instead? Imagine how much your experience will stand out if you provide snacks for customers, comfortable couches, changing tables in the bathrooms for parents, and beautiful bags or gift wrapping for products? How about if each purchase came with information about how to get more out of the product? There is no limit to how you can pamper your customers. Think about how hard it is to make contact with a prospect — how much you spend on marketing! This is an opportunity where you have your prospects right in front of you. Continue to fight for their business by creating a delicious experience for them.
Highlight Unique and Authentic Products With Storytelling
There’s nothing worse than when a customer goes to a store and it’s a mess. What if you put out less inventory out but the inventory you featured was beautifully displayed? What if those products had a story behind them? Use social media to create a story around specialty items. Use Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook to craft artful content around the items. Get creative. Ask your employees for how your customers are using your products. Get feedback from your best customers. Today with social media there is no limit to your storytelling potential. Restrain your team from putting everything out on the floor, and only put specialty items out. Create a story with social media and reference this in the in-store experience.
Use Social Media To Engage With Customers In Real-Time
When a customer checks in at Brooks Brothers on Foursquare and tweets that check-in, Brooks Brothers responds on Twitter asking if there’s anything they can do to improve the customer’s experience. Recently Express [clothing] put hashtags on the mirrors in their dressing rooms encouraging customers to take photos of themselves with the hashtag. Today’s customers are on their phones the minute they get into your store. They’re doing price comparisons with major online retailers, but they’re also sharing photos of themselves and checking in on social media sites. Do you have a task-force that’s ready to engage with those customers? Customers will be surprised when they see your brand actually cares about their experience and responds back to them on various social media sites.
These are four ideas to improve the customer experience on Black Friday. Do you have any to share? Feel free to include your ideas in the comments section of this article.
This article was written by Blake Morgan from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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