We often say to our children, or other young people who are unfortunate enough to have to listen to this, – “it was better in the old days”.
One example of this is the service at your local grocery store, where the merchant himself or his wife stood behind the counter and gave you a personal service. This service was based on how often you shopped, what you usually bought, how big your family was, what offers you might be interested in etc.
Many things have changed since – the digital age has meant that the stores’ ownership structure, opening hours, branches, sales channels, marketing channels and geographic distribution have been substantially changed. However, the biggest change has probably occurred with the customers who have been able to take digital technologies into use faster than the shops have been able to adapt.
Well informed and demanding customers
This has meant that customers today are more knowledgeable before they visit a store – often the visit in the store is only to verify a product choice that is fully or partially carried out on the Internet beforehand. Customers want flexibility and responsiveness everywhere – and they have an expectation that they can shop, get supplies, pick up / return the goods in the way that suits them! Customers are also typically less loyal to each store – the purchase is made right there where the best price and service is available.
The challenge for the staff in the physical store is that the customer is better prepared and informed, and that the customer still has an expectation of a personalized service “like in the 1960s”. Unlike then, the customer is not a 1:1 relation to the shop, who therefore must build their knowledge of the customer from many sources (purchase history, loyalty club, website visits, behavior on social media).
Therefore, today’s stores must be able to meet each customer with knowledge their history, preferences and interests – as well as being able to use this knowledge to provide proactive service in relation to products and promotions. Otherwise, the experience in the store not so good as to secure the sale.
Personalized customer service
The sum of these challenges is that there are bigger demands to the individual store = increased costs, while at the same time there is increased pressure on prices = a decline in earnings. Therefore, it must be ensured that the personalized service is linked to a sale – of the basic product and to additional products/services.
Microsoft has developed “Modern POS”, which allows the shop to give this personalized service, and it makes it possible to have purchase transaction, information retrieval, customer-specific conditions, etc. assembled on the same mobile device, such as an iPad or other tablet. This ensures that the sale can be completed in connection with the personal customer service, achieving full traceability to upsell.
Have a look at our different demo videos to get inspired and see what you can do about giving your customers that nice, personal service we all love.
Please contact us to hear more about how your retail business can get to provide a personalized service almost equal to the 1960’s !