Over the past year-plus, we’ve all received an uninvited crash course on how to better function in the safely distanced, virtual world. ZOOM, ZOOM!
Of course, in an ideal world, we would all embrace and embody aspects of both the digital realm and the real, tactile environment that’s always enveloped and influenced us. We would balance the virtual and the actual. And blend technology with humanity. Seamlessly.
If you’re overseeing operations in a “brick-and-mortar,” real-world retail setting such as a jewelry store, you better be aware of this balancing act. Now, more than ever before. To that end, here are some helpful tips on how to utilize cutting-edge, ever-evolving technological tools to automate and streamline interactions inside your store or stores — and help improve customer satisfaction and retention.
Over the past few years, no matter where you call home, we’ve all had to deal with a sort of “sliding scale” when it comes to who can actually enter a store — as well as when, and for how long. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both business owners and consumers in a myriad of major ways, and many of us have become more adept at utilizing mobile messaging to communicate and connect (from a safe distance). Connecting and communicating with your customers via texting is an excellent avenue, and can easily be used to schedule in-person appointments, product demos, special sales, and much more. So why not reach out to them…and set up a time to meet up and do business?
This text messaging strategy can and should extend to any curbside pickup operations your store is implementing. Curbside pickups have become another staple of business and life as the pandemic has unfolded, and as helpful and safe as this practice is, it can also easily lead to frustrating wait times for your customers. Why not reward your valued customers for their effort to come visit you by making their curbside pickup experience as fast, easy and streamlined as possible? This can include enabling the ability for them to text you and your employees when they are nearby or outside your store.
Another staple of our new reality? Mobile and “contactless” payments. According to recent data from the customer interaction experts at Podium, almost 8 out of 10 customers now prefer to pay this way. Again, why not send your customers a text — and collect their payments within a matter of minutes, rather than have them wait in lines or send bills through the mail? Mobile payments are a win-win, too. Not only do your customers benefit from and love them, but your own store associates and employees will save time and energy — so they can focus even more intently on mastering knowledge of your product line, and providing superior customer service at each and every touchpoint (or contactless connection).
Online Review Requests
Everyone loves a good testimonial. Especially business owners. In the days before the internet and mobile devices, this was known strictly as word-of-mouth advertising. But in 2021, it’s the online review that rules the day. Sites like Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor and Google My Business offer powerful platforms for customers to praise – or tear down – an array of businesses of all sizes, across just about any industry and vertical. Some studies show that as many as 97% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing locally. Another great stat to keep in mind? Around two-thirds of customers will write a review of your business when asked to do so. So…what are you waiting for? Send them a link to online review sites via text message and email — then follow up to say thank you when they give your business some love.
Sales and Promotions
It’s important to always remember that each and every interaction matters (a lot) for your business and brand — both online and off. It’s best to always do your best to understand how you can manage and improve each interaction, along every step of the customer journey — while always adding value. No matter what works best for your own particular business, some marketing methods will always withstand the passage of time. Such is the case with sales and promotions. Deep down, people will always desire a customized, personalized interaction with a business and brand that they trust. Why not give your valued customers the option to be notified of special deals and in-store (as well as online) events via email and text? This approach will go a lot further in building trust and connection and closing sales than, say, online ads — which some studies show are now ignored by four out of five consumers.
One-Click Protection: In-Store or at-Home
Trusted by jewelers everywhere, Zillion offers jewelry insurance that’s as simple as Text… Click… Covered. At the touch of a screen, customers receive an instant insurance offer on their phone after their purchase. Activation is easy with no upfront payment, no applications, and 10 days to decide. Fully integrated with leading Point of Sale and E-Commerce systems, Zillion makes it easy for jewelers to offer mobile-first solutions in an increasingly mobile world. It’s Jewelry Insurance, Reinvented. Only from Zillion. Learn more.