customers biggest annoyances about retail
Even though up-selling at the register is a good tool to use in order to increase sales, generally you'll find this is one of the things customers hate the most. This is because the customer is already making a purchase from you and if they wanted something to complement the product or anything in general. Really they would have already picked it up or asked a member of staff for it so by asking them you're just annoying them. For example, if you're an electronics store, it's very likely if a customer wanted a warranty for the item they're buying then they ask for it but by actually asking them to purchase even more from you and pushing other things on them makes them think twice about buying the item altogether.
Some retail stores have set scripts for their employees and this is one of the worse things you can do, your main aim is to keep your customers happy and coming back and if your employees are always saying the same thing or are forced to up-sell and annoy the customers you will start losing them. Customers are also more likely to buy and return if your employees interact with them personally and individually, but if they have to follow a set script it will take this away.
Some stores think they are really clever and can put a tag on an item with a price that is lower that what they are actually going to charge at checkout and hope that the customers either won't notice or won't bother to make a fuss and buy it anyway. This is one of the worst things you can do, as it takes away any trust your customers have for you and makes it very unlikely that they will come back. Tricking your customers in order to make more profit is not a good idea, if they want what you're trying to sell and it is of good quality etc. then you need to let them decide whether they want to buy it for how much you're selling it for. But, making them think it's one price and then charging another in not a good way to build a relationship with your customers.
Having items on sale is a great way to get more customers and sell products that are maybe going out of style, for example, if you own a clothing store. However, if items are placed on a sale rack with the percentage that will be taken off or how much they've been reduced to with no actual sale tag on each item it means items get mixed up. This is then annoying for customers who pick up an item off the sales rack, get to the checkout and find that someone has just placed it there and it's not actually for sale. Although some people will still pay for it because they have decided they want it, generally most wont and then leave so you have lost the opportunity to make a sale. Whereas if they knew the item was full price before they got to the checkout they might still have bought it but because this down-sells it they feel as though the price is too high so will not buy it.
Although most customers will stand and wait in a que to pay if they've found an item they really want, but long wait times and big ques can put customers off coming into your store at all as waiting in a slow que is boring and will automatically put people off. However, if customers see that the que if moving fast and your employees are doing the best they can to speed up the process it's likely they'll come in to have a browse and hopefully they'll find something they like and be willing to que for a few minutes if they know it's moving quite fast. The problem comes when customers start to que and it moves really slowly and that's when you start to get customers coming out of the que, putting the items back and going somewhere else. Therefore, you've lost a lot of prospective sales and basically handed customers to your competitors, something no retail store wants to happen.
One of the main things that annoy customers and puts them of making a purchase is bad customer service. And can you really blame them? Would you want to buy from a company where the staff are rude or you are treated with disrespect? Although you want to be professional, customers actually prefer and will respond better if you just treat them as a normal person and talk to them casually. However, there is a line. You want to be casual and helpful but still remember that you are there to help, so if a customer asks for assistance make sure you come across as though you are handling it seriously.
Even if you don't think a customer is right or think they are making too big a deal of something, you need to try and see things from their point of view. After all, you should be in the mindset that the "customer is alright right" because if you're in the mindset that you, as a business, can do no wrong you're going to end up annoying a lot of customers and probably losing quite a few as well. The best thing you can do if a customer has a problem or a complaint, is to tell them you'll do your best to fix whatever it is and show empathy towards them. This way they'll be happy and appreciative that you're trying to help them instead of telling them they're wrong and there's nothing you can do to help. If you then put yourself in their shoes and try to understand how they're feeling, for example, if a customer buys a product off you and gets it home to find its faulty, they're going to be pretty disappointed. So, showing them empathy and doing your best to find a solution will go a long way.
Although it's difficult to find an item sometimes or you might be really busy but if a customer asks for a certain product and you spend ages going to find it they're going to get annoyed and probably leave, which means you'll be losing out of a possible sale. Although you can't help some situations, it would be a good idea to put things in place so you can be as quick as possible, so you don't leave your customers waiting. For example, if you're a clothing store and a customer asks for a different size in a skirt because it's not out on the shop floor, if you're stock room is easily accessible for staff and well organized then it will take them a shorter amount of time to see if the item is there. Compared to if there are items everywhere and they have to sieve through them all. Some stores even have handhelds where they can scan an item or look it up to see if it's in stock right in front of a customer and then they just have go and get it for them, which saves a lot of time.
If a customer buys something and then it doesn't fit, or its faulty etc., it's not their fault, they should be able to return it easily, and if you make it simple for them it's likely they'll buy something from you again. This goes for if you sell online as well. If customers have to pay to send an item back or waste time at a post office because they don't have a return label with shipping costs available, they will be annoyed. Something you can do, which many companies have started doing and seen an increase in customer satisfaction is offering free shipping for returns.
If employee's are stood on the shop floor, then their main job is to greet customers and be there if they need anything else. If a customer comes in and your employees are stood talking or don't give them a warm greeting, it will automatically put them off because they feel un-important and can you really blame them for then not wanting to buy from you?