Yesterday morning I decided that I was going to take part in a yoga class. I had visited three different branches of a sports shop recently and I was aware that each branch offered complimentary yoga classes. The difference between the three stores was that only one of them had actually taken the opportunity to invite me to their yoga class. While I was in the store, a friendly employee had told me that they ran yoga classes every Sunday. She informed me that they even provided the mats and said that there was normally space for everyone who turned up. This invite left me feeling welcome. Therefore I chose to go to this store over the others who had not invited me. It is human nature to need to feel wanted. Customers are no different to humans! Research by McKinsey has shown that 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. I felt good to be invited to the class. It made me feel as though I could belong in their ‘club’. The instinct to want to belong also left me feeling as though I wanted to purchase the clothing from the store so that I could fit in with the other people in the yoga class.
As it happened, the yoga class exceeded my expectations. The staff thanked me for coming even though it was a free class! The class started on time. I was thanked and wished a good day as I left the store after the class. The class was challenging and I can feel the pain / benefits today!
Even if you are not running any events, there are many other ways of making customers feel encouraged to return. Three examples are below:
- Tell the customer your name and contact details. Let them know what days you are working so that they know when they may come back to see you.
- Tell the customer about a new item that will be arriving soon in the store.
- Explain to the customer how they can earn loyalty points on future visits.
What experiences have you had that have left you feeling welcome? It would be great to hear your stories in the comments below.