Retailers have been feeling the pinch of ecommerce, as consumers are more often visiting their brick-and-mortar locations to browse aisles for products they will eventually purchase for lower prices online. As a result, a number of companies have launched efforts to improve their service strategies with the hope of earning customer satisfaction and loyalty that will keep patrons coming back.
While advanced retail technology, such as handheld mobile devices and integrated loyalty rewards, may help the business stand out from the competition, it might not be as effective when it comes to building lasting relationships with customers. Instead, Retail Customer Experience suggests businesses leverage a component that can't be translated to ecommerce - the people.
Employees who are truly passionate about the company's products, and believe in its values, will convey their satisfaction to customers, the source reports. And when it comes to the businesses in the service industry, the level of employee satisfaction directly correlates to customer satisfaction, David Hames, a professor at UNLV's Lee Business School, told The Chicago Tribune.
When employees feel like they're being appreciated, understood and taken care of, they are also more likely to boost productivity and make the company more successful, the news source suggests.
In fact, a recent survey by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found one commonality in most successful companies is high levels of employee satisfaction that result in lower turnover. The majority of companies surveyed in the study made investments in employees through benefits programs, which can boost morale.
"As one HR director puts it, you can't have customer satisfaction without employee satisfaction. A good benefits program's connection to employee security, motivation and performance couldn't be more clear," said Angelia Herrin, research and special projects editor of Harvard Business Review.
One way companies can evaluate the quality of service they are providing is to mystery shop their stores, so they can learn what employees are doing well or identify areas in which they might benefit from additional training.