Every single way your company ‘touches’ the customer contributes to the total experience…
The answer is to create a sustainable competitive advantage through customer loyalty …
… so the best strategy is to cultivate customers by giving them very positive experiences.”
2: The Experience is the Brand
From the findings of a 2007 survey of New Zealand adult shoppers on the importance of measuring frontline staff performance and store presentation:
“The survey findings show that a ‘smooth transaction’ heads the list of the most important elements of customer service. ‘Friendly, knowledgeable, approachable staff’ were also considered a significant factor as was a ‘clean and tidy’ store.”
“Customers also say staff paying individual attention and appearing genuinely interested in them are as important as being offered a pleasant greeting or farewell.”
3: The Library Experience
Bookstore corporate headquarters assiduously control what they view as the “bookstore experience”.
Maybe we need to place the same emphasis on the “library experience.”
Since we’re no longer the only game in town, we’ve got to be the most attractive choice.
“But we’re free!” we cry. Sure, that’s an attraction, but it’s not enough.
Free or not, people won’t spend time in a library unless the experience contributes something to their day.
4: Customer Flow
Get 100% of customers to see 100% of your products. Offer 60% of the library floor plan as space for customers.
5: Merchandise how the customer thinks
In a successful library 50% of the users will be male. This has obvious implications for product promotion.
6: Power Spots
The Super Bookstore Difference
“Barnes & Noble customers come ten steps inside the front door and read the titles of a hundred books. Sometimes library users standing in the same spot may see empty space or the circulation desk.”
Four steps into the library is the ideal “power spot”.
7: The Image Game
It is important that the library customer’s first impressions are overwhelmingly positive ones: both their engagement with library staff and the physical appearance of the library.
A survey of shoppers in the United States determined that 31% of respondents inform their friends of bad experiences.
Generating positive experiences elicits spontaneous and sincere recommendations amongst the public.
9: Top Ten
All Barnes & Noble staff are required to know the Top10 Bestsellers and their location in their store.
They are also expected to familiarise themselves with the advance stock sheets for incoming books.
10: The Science of Merchandising
"The vast majority of products kept in the library are ‘non-known value’ and need to be marketed off the shelves." The Science of Merchandising by John Stanley
Impulse & Browsing:
Placement is critical
‘Purpose Products’ don’t require the same investment in display and space to promote their use.
11: Up Close & Personal
Barnes & Noble staff are assigned shelving areas within which, when customers enter their area, they approach and indicate early to the customer that assistance is readily available.
12: Effective Staff-to-Customer communication
Probe but don’t spend too much time questioning. Most people are either visual or kinaesthetic learners which means they need to experience the products.
Don’t flood the customer with information – relate only those product features and benefits specially related to their stated needs.
Adding on – suggest complementary products and/or services that will benefit the customer, again specifically related to their needs.
Farewell with attitude – firmly convey to the customer that you were pleased that they visited the library, that you hope their experience was enjoyable, with the aim of creating repeat visits.
13: The Do’s of Body Language
Make eye contact and position yourself face-to-face.
Look welcoming, not bored.
Approach the customer, don’t wait for them to ask you
Approach customers with a friendly question or a comment
Respect the customer’s personal space
14: The Sales Process
Meet and greet
Discover customer needs
Confirm customer needs
Review or repeat
Thank and farewell
15: Evaluate the Experience
The best and most effective way to do this is to simply ask your customers. It is their perspective that matters. They will almost certainly let you know what you are doing well.