Running a convenience store is no simple task, and requires considerable attention when it comes to catering to the needs of your customers. This is because, in one way or the other, your livelihood and the future of your business depend on the level of satisfaction of your customers. How soon and often your customers choose to come back to your c-store after they have made a purchase is vital for any c-store’s growth.
However, some business owners tend to make a few blaring mistakes that drive away their customers and hurt their reputation. Make sure you avoid the following mistakes to ensure you have better customer retention rates.
#1 Over-Promising and Under-Delivering
Nothing can damage your image like setting high customer expectations and not being able to meet them. That is why it is recommended to always set realistic customer expectations. A better strategy would be to attract customers with an under-promise, and then delivering a relatively better experience.
For example, if a customer asks for a certain product that you currently don’t have and is short in the market, never say that you will definitely get it for them. Instead, a better way would be to ask them for their contact information and tell the customer that you will try your best to find it and will let them know when it is available at your store. This will keep your customer’s expectation low, and will potentially save you from facing their disappointment if you are unable to get the product when they visit your c-store again. On the other hand, if you are able to find the product, it will create a greater positive impact on your business’s image.
You should focus on creating instances of delight and satisfaction when a customer enters your c-store. You will see that customers will continually return to your business to get the same experience, allowing you to expand your business opportunities.
#2 Not Taking Customer Feedback Seriously
No one knows what a customer wants better than the customer themselves – this is what makes getting their feedback and acting upon it extremely important. If a customer gives you feedback, be it positive or negative, you should follow up with them to make them feel like they are valued.
For example, if a few of your customers say that your checkout system is slow and they get tired of waiting, you should assure that you will make changes and streamline the system for better efficiency. After you have made changes, be sure to follow up with the customer for their further feedback and check their satisfaction level.
Never take customers’ feedback personally, as their goal is not to attack personally, but to offer a chance to win their loyalty by taking it into account. If they see changes have been made as per their comments, they are going to continue to come back and may provide you with valuable feedback to further improve your customer service.
#3 Relying on Discounting for Higher Sales
If you depend on the discounting strategy for attracting customers to your convenience store, there is a high chance that a majority of your customer base will comprise of the ‘discount hunters’. This means people will only purchase from you when there is a discount deal, and the moment you are unable to provide any deal, they will switch over to your competitors, affecting your sales in the process.
#4 Unavailability of Products
Most customers regularly visit a convenience store because they know it will have the products they want. This is where the concept of effective inventory management comes into play. You need to have a proper inventory management software in place that provides you with complete insights of the existing status of the products. It will keep you informed which products are in abundance and which ones need to be refilled to avoid inconvenience to your customers.