There is no doubt Amazon has changed the face of retail. How businesses react to this change will determine if they go the way of the dinosaurs, or evolve into a new business sector. Online sales account for only 10% of overall sales. I found this number shocking, yet great news for those looking to improve.
There is time to pivot into a new buyer journey focused on the customer experience. Today is the day. Animals under attack that go into "freeze mode" are typically someone's lunch. Be proactive and change the landscape of the customer's sales experience and you will be able to enjoy a meal, not be one.
Transactional vs. Transformational
When's the last time you had a memorable sales experience? Did you remember the product or the person who delivered it? The sales team prepared to provide an exceptional sales experience will win in today's competitive landscape. Look at every part of the customer journey and ask yourself what more could I do?
Walk in your customer's shoes. Do you send out surveys? Ask your customers; what could we do better? Customer surveys should be easy to fill out, direct and straightforward. Don't ask for you customers time without giving something in return. Time is the most precious asset we have. You can always make more money, but you can't make more time. What happens when a customer calls your store? Does someone answer? Are they put on hold? Do they go into the dreaded phone tree? How do your sales staff answer? Are they trained in customer-facing activities? How do you make it easy for the customer to say yes to you?
The value chain is the path a product takes from the point of origin to the point of sale. An example is a piece of furniture starts as a tree and ends as furniture. all the steps in between are the value chain. Look at the steps in your value chain and optimize it to reflect the most efficient and pleasurable experience for the customer. Some of the common problems that affect the end user include delays in shipping, backorders, new sales teams and lack of customer support. You can also look for ways to reduce your cost of doing business by examining the value chain.
What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Are you positioning your offering strategically in the market? What are your competitors doing? How are you different from everyone else? Often I ask sales teams what value they offer the customer. The answers are typical; excellent service, quality, and low prices. These are expectations of today's customer. Finding your unique value is the key to higher sales. Your perceived benefits should be the same as the customers. Only the buyer can define what value means to them.
What are doing in your community? How are you supporting the local community? In most cases these are your shoppers. The activities you support show you care about the people who support you. Get personal with your community and develop ways to show you care. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Are you delivering a unique sales experience? Do your customer touch points say I care about you? I see opportunities every day to personalize and optimize the customer experience. Every step you take to create raving fans from your customer base takes you one step closer to evolution, not extinction in your sales.
Luck can be found at the intersection of hard work and perseverance.