Something popped out at me this morning as I was interviewing a retail consultant. For the specialized retailers for whom he works, he said, relationships are everything.
Now it’s true that these specialized retailers have the advantage of a sort of captive customer base. These particular customers need what these specialized retailers sell.
But it also occurred to me that there is a message there for retailers in general. And that is, of course, that it is important — particularly now — to develop and nurture relationships with your customers.
How to do this? Well, certainly talk to your customers. Ask them what they would like to see in your store. Ask them what’s missing from your store. If you have a customer e-mail list, communicate with them in a personal way.
Call them to tell them about a new shipment, a sale, a special event in your store. Get involved in your community. That’s a fab way to get to know customers outside your store. Once they know you, that relationship may motivate them to visit your store more often.
Times are rough. Leave no potential customer experience unexplored.