In an age where your competitors can be Googled while they’re waiting in your queue, customers have never been more in control. Brand loyalty is becoming less important to consumers, and similar offerings can be sourced from around the world – business owners need to have the competitive advantage to keep their customers.
We’ll give you a tip: it pays to keep your customers happy.
And to keep your customers happy, you need to understand them. Of all the tips on customer flow you will read, make sure that this one sticks – know your audience.
Without extensive research into your target audience, you cannot succeed at catering to them. Whether you enlist the help of a professional firm, or conduct your own email surveys, get the data you need and make meaning out of it, because this will inform everything about your customers’ journeys from initial contact to return visits and aftercare.
Part of knowing your audience means having the data on their experience when they’re physically with your company. Website traffic is important, but foot traffic and on-site data is imperative. How long does it take for a customer to be seen once they walk through your doors? What day do you experience the largest volume of customers? What is the average wait time? Is there a large walk-out rate after a certain period in time?
If you can’t answer these questions, you’ve only got half the picture of your clientele. If you had the data to tell you that twenty percent of customers will leave after waiting for more than 40 minutes, you can look at ways to address that. If you notice that Tuesdays are busier than any other day, reassess staffing on Tuesdays. Having market research about your potential customers, as well as hard data about the actual ones is the recipe for success.
Once you know your audience and their queuing habits, reassess whether various touchpoints are meeting their needs:
- Align your website and physical journeys with the path that your customers are looking for. If you know that the optimum experience online is one content-driven page and then a product page with a strong call to action, don’t waste customers’ time making them bounce around to find the “buy now” button. Similarly, if your customers consistently drop off after a wait of more than 20 minutes, endeavor to reduce wait times.
- Use your knowledge of the customer to improve the way that you market to them.
- Can you segment emails further and talk more personally to smaller groups?
- Should you geo-target social media ads to be more effective?
- Will people wait longer if you alter the check-in phase in-store?
- Would text alerts when a person is next in line improve the waiting experience?
- Feed the information back to frontline staff. If you know that wait times are a pain point, work on ways that you can reduce this, and keep your staff involved throughout the process.
Being customer-centric is the way forward. Keep your customer front-of-mind when you’re making any decisions and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
- A little knowledge never hurt anyone, gather as much data as you can on your customers
- Don’t make customer journeys any longer than they have to be
- Put your customers’ hat on and try to experience things from their perspective
- Be ready to dive into the data that you have and respond to customers’ actions accordingly
We get a little geeky talking about things like customer flow – give us a call if you’d like to talk about anything you’ve read, we’d love to chat.