If you have been operating your boutique for a while, you already know the importance of multi-tasking. Operating such a store is no small feat; you have to be on top of everything at all times.
Different things add to running a successful shop, and you have to master all of them. You handle everything from finances to customer service. If you want to earn your stripes and compete with the big brands, you must ensure your customers are always satisfied. The beautiful thing about owning a boutique is that you call the shots. Here are a few tips you can implement to improve customer service.
1. Keep Consistent Hours
Consistency is vital when you ate establishing a business. Sure, it might get slow at times, but that doesn’t mean you should lock up and leave. You will ruin your reputation, lose publicity and customers. You are trying to build a brand; reputation is everything. Set hours and stick to them. That way, your clients will know when to stop by and when you are closed. If you have to close for any reason, ensure you publicize it to avoid inconveniences. Shoot a quick post on social media or put it on your website. Establishing a bond with customers is probably one of the hardest things to do. But if you remain consistent, they eventually feel like you are someone they can rely on.
2. Offer After-Hours Pickup
Many smaller retailers may want to keep an outdoor locker for after-hours pickups. Lockers are the most convenient way for your customers to pick up online orders after the store closes. Most retailers and your competitors are offering them to clients. Outdoor lockers are beneficial to the customers, but they will be great for your boutique as well. The lockers should have differently sized units to multiple and single orders. Always ensure all the orders are placed in the appropriate lockers before you leave. Your business must constantly change to keep up with customer preferences and current trends. Shipping online orders are faster but costly. Most customers prefer picking their orders at the store at their convenience. Give customers a new way to shop from your boutique.
3. Make It Easy To Get In Touch
Always be there for your customers without hovering. You are losing major points if your customers usually have trouble reaching you. Ensure you provide your contacts everywhere. Clients always have questions and concerns they want you to address. You must make them feel heard. Communication works two ways; you will also have difficulty reaching customers for marketing campaigns and other things. If you introduce new brands in the boutique, the quickest way to let people know is through your email list, social media, or website. However, don’t overdo it because no one wants to receive notifications all day about your store. Communicate effectively and when there is a need and respond quickly to customers.
4. Get Creative With Marketing
Instead of doing the same old dance, start thinking outside the box. Trunk shows, contests, and fashion shows can bring a lot of foot traffic into your boutique. Usually, small stores tend to do the minimum in terms of marketing. But you should be doing the most to keep customers glued to you and your products. Social media is free marketing; you can’t afford to miss out. Understand it first and get social with your customers. Since everyone is online these days, that’s the best place to interact one on one with customers.
5. Offer Something Different
People are not visiting your boutique for the same merchandise they can find in the mall. They are after the little extra things that you offer. Sometimes local designers and upcoming lines provide the best product. Have a section where customers can shop for something new each week. On top of selling the big names in the fashion world, you will have something more to offer. You will also be supporting and promoting the locals. Getting along with the immediate community will do wonders for your store. Most likely, a large percentage of your customers come from around the store. So don’t cater to the online world so much that you forget the local community.
Running a boutique is as easy or hard as running any other business. However, one thing is for sure; your customer service can make or break the business. Do all you can to meet their needs and provide a different shopping experience. Putting customers first is the same as putting your boutique first.