I recently found myself wondering how the mass-hysteria over the new presidency in the U.S. will impact shopping habits.
I started searching and found an article stating a study had been conducted, proving “retail therapy works”.
“That’s good” I thought, “A lot of people seem to need retail therapy, right now.”
Before I read further in the article, though, a barrage of questions crossed my mind.
“Who is this group that did this “study”?”
“What was their motivation for doing the study?”
I attribute the intrusion of questions to a documentary I recently watched on Netflix, “Merchants of Doubt”. Based on a novel, it tells the story of a group of politically-connected scientists who have intentionally mislead the public to deny well-established scientific knowledge in favor of lining their own pockets.
The documentary dampened my enthusiasm for on-the-fly “Googling”. I constantly find myself questioning sources, now. So I wondered: what does this mean for businesses wanting un-biased information to help steer their direction?
What I realized is that retailers have a specific advantage when it comes to information: their customers. Why sort through hordes of conflicting and possible agenda-driven information when there’s a wealth of information, waiting to be tapped?
The fact is, companies who listen to, grow with and truly understand their customers are the ones who thrive.
3 Ways to Find Out What Your Customers Are Telling You
1. Establish intelligent metrics:
A company in full-swing has mountains of information continuously growing. It can be incredibly stressful to sift through it all to get to anything meaningful.
Reliable metrics provide in-depth reporting services that tap into your point-of-sale system, video analytics and traffic-counting data. They marry sales data with employee hours and inventory data. They provide integrated video analytics to compare outliers in reporting to physical recordings of what happened in-store.
Look for a system that provides customization, mobility and at-a-glance views of your most important metrics.
2. Enable feedback from your customers:
Engaged customers feel like they’re being heard. They see a clear avenue to interact with a company and feel safe to make their voice heard. The wealth of information your customers can provide through these direct avenues can help you make important decisions about the future of your company.
Try setting up a survey program that asks for feedback through the point of sale. E-receipts with a built-in survey link allow you to save paper and collect an email address where customers can take your survey and/or opt-in for future emails with special promotions and information. Make sure these “VIP’ customers get information and deals before anyone else does.
3. Don't ignore social media
I feel like a broken record on this one.
Whether you join the conversation on social media, or not, people talk. If your customers are talking about you and you don’t make your presence known, you relinquish control over an increasingly credible source of information for today’s consumers.
Join the social media channels your customers are on and inspire them with content in line with your brand and their expectations. Make it right when they have bad experiences and celebrate with them when they’re happy.
Your customers are a goldmine of information. By connecting with the ones who ultimately keep you afloat, you end up celebrating success together.
Fun fact: Did you know “iQmetrix” stands for intelligent metrics? We strive to provide retail solutions that enable integrated, reliable and intelligent metrics.
To learn more about collecting and analyzing customer data read our blog titled, 'Using POS Data to Understand and Improve Profitability.'