Times are tough, so the question is… what can you do to fight back?
It’s time to look outside the ‘bathroom bubble’ for answers and I’d like to share 11 great tips to help you make your showroom a compelling customer experience.
There’s no denying this recession has hit high street retail hard and the bathroom industry is no exception. Buying a bathroom is not an impulse or commodity purchase and people do still buy from specialists. So the question is: once you’ve got people into your showroom, what can you do to encourage them to stay and buy?
‘Experience’ is what it’s all about…
I know ‘customer experience’ is a much overused cliché these days, but you are selling a lifestyle, an aspiration, even a dream … and the people coming through your door aren’t interested in what you do; it’s what you can do for them which matters.
So, put yourself in their shoes. It’s time to stop thinking just bathroom and start thinking “What makes people buy? What would make them talk about my showroom and tell their friends to visit us too?” Take a lead from innovators – Apple, Super Dry, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols – see how they create an environment for their customers, look at your own audience and work out how you could do it for them too.
It starts with the basics… because first impressions really do count… so what do your customers see when they walk past your windows and through your door?
1 Temperature is one of the first things customers notice, so make sure your welcome is warm in every sense; with friendly staff and good heating too.
2 Cleanliness is a must; sparkling spotlessness is even more enticing: it shows you value your products and care about your customers. And whilst you’re at it, what about your décor? Could it do with a lick of paint or a quick refresh?
3 Make sure your displays are bright and well lit; if you sell bathroom lighting, then why not show it off as part of your sets, rather than just lumping it together in a corner?
4 Background music is another great trick – it makes people feel less ‘exposed’ than a quiet showroom, so they’re likely to stick around longer. Remember fragrance too; plug-in air fresheners are quick, easy and inexpensive to use.
These small, relatively inexpensive changes are designed to appeal to your customers’ senses and demonstrate your attention to detail, delivering a positive first impression.
But there’s more to this than just a good clean… is your showroom really making the most of your selling opportunities?
5 Using room sets is the best way to show your customers what they can achieve when they buy from you. Don’t expect them to imagine it all, create rooms they could simply lift and replicate at home… it’s all about making it easy for them to buy.
6 Displayed well, ‘props’ can make your sets far more engaging: so clean, fluffy towels, polished accessories and please, no empty bottles! Who keeps empty bottles in their bathroom?
7 Make sure your customers have to walk through as much of your showroom as possible to see everything they want; for instance, don’t group cloakroom items together.
8 Suggest they try the goods (obviously without water!) Encourage them to get involved, sit in the bath, have a laugh… the more you engage them, the more they’re likely to stay and buy.
People still buy from people, so GET PERSONAL!
9 Make your showroom personal to you; don’t be afraid to be quirky, amusing, even edgy… it’s all about standing out from the crowd.
10 Devise a way to collect contact information from everyone who comes into your showroom; perhaps a prize-draw in return for their details? Then be proactive and contact them… but not too often.
11 Ask for the order! Radical I know, and not at all British, but what’s wrong with showing them you value their business?
Delivering a great customer experience adds value, helping you sell more, more often and more easily. To find out how we can help you give me a call on 020 8599 8080.