Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been a while.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my job In retail. I was recently asked the question, how can we improve on the guest experience? I came up with a vague answer of providing a great time with memories to take away with them. However. When I actually think about it, the true answer goes much deeper. When working in a covid world its easy to forget how guests are effected. We’re so used to the basics that we don’t see how they’re becoming the thing that limits our expectations. The common mentality of “playing it safe” can be the very reason of our own demise.
When it comes to myself being the guest/customer, I’m an incredibly laid back person. As long as there is a basic system in place which is simple and clear I’m happy, anything extra is a bonus which immediately improves my experience. The “basics” in my opinion, only consist of a few things;
Communication * variety * convenience * Quality
Communication in plain terms, is how you convey information to your customers. Whether it be a sign, map or guide you want to ensure it’s clear and precise to avoid any confusion. If a toilet is broken or an item is out of stock, what is the best way to inform your customers? This is an easy way to avoid any unnecessary sticky situations in the future. A “welcome host” is always an ideal role to provide a personal touch, especially in a restaurant setting. Having a team that appreciates how their individual attitude can play a major role in a business’s success with loyal returning customers as a result.
Variety means choice. Choice enures that a wide range of our customers “needs” or “wants” are met. Extra choices for allergens and disabilities fall within here also. Everyone is different, a top establishment should reflect that. A good example is a retail shop. With a huge range of products for any type of size, age, colour and style. Not everyone likes the same shirt. Understanding this means your customers could have a more tailored experience made just for them. Are all their needs catered for?
Convenience can determine the rest. Your whole operation could be nullified if there is no simple way for your guests to actually experience what you have worked so hard to provide. How can we bring our products closer to our customers? Especially the lesser known items. Apps, online newsletters, advertisements or even face to face upselling, could provide more convenient information and further product knowledge.
In result. You have the basics. Expanding on these principles will only increase the experience we can provide. When these have been solidified we can move onto the luxuries where quality is at the forefront of our minds. Senses we feel, see, hear, smell or even the overall comfort. This is generally what the guest will remember and what will have the greatest effect on any reviews, recommendations or overall NPS scores. It is expected for an establishment to offer the basics, an ambitious venue however, will venture beyond this barrier to suprise the guest/customer and surpass any expectations thus creating a guest experience you truly can’t forget.
Next we’re talking about when quality is key!