“Ramping up in-store efforts certainly helps increase sales during major holidays. Also, adequately staffing digital support teams will help those sales remain steady after the holidays have ended,” – Forbes.com
The year-end holidays represent a golden opportunity for commerce. From a global perspective, this time is significant because consumers spend lavishly on gifts, vacations, travel, appliances, entertainment, food and drinks, etc. In response, marketers roll out enticing schemes designed to spur consumer spending. That said, we note that brands and businesses should work to retain a customer-centric mindset during the holiday season. This enabled them to provide superlative customer service and create an enduring impression in the minds of their customers. We will examine some of the techniques to attain said mindset below.
Commercial organizations must work to tune their operations to match trends in shopping and buying behavior. This forms a critical aspect of the customer-centric mindset because brands that attain such synergies are more likely to win customers’ dollars. For instance, consumers residing in large cities and metropolitan areas may extend their shopping expeditions beyond normal business hours. Commerce must respond to this trend by expanding their retail store timings. They may also extend the working hours of staff persons in response to consumer preferences. These actions may attract a larger number of consumers to these stores and boost sales revenues in retail locations. Further, customer recommendations may boost the number of footfalls at said locations. This example clearly illustrates the utility of retaining a customer-centric mindset during the holiday season.
The top spenders in a market invariably attract the attentions of commercial organizations. We note that this fact holds true in the mass markets that typify the modern age. Top spenders typically create regular and substantial revenue streams for a business organization, irrespective of the market. In line with this, brands and businesses must create special mechanisms to cater to this customer segment. This choice of actions also spotlights a brand’s commitment to pursue and embody a customer-centric mindset. For instance, a furniture retailer can elect to extend special treatment to its top customers. This stance enables the business to create a long-term customer relationship with elite clientele. The privileged treatment may include special discounts during the holiday season and the delivery of select merchandise to the client’s residence. We note that these aspects of said mindset empowers the business to deepen client engagement and win the loyalty of its customers.
Common courtesy, respect, and a service-first attitude must distinguish commercial attitude toward customers during the holiday season. Every business enterprise must bear in mind that modern markets have evolved into incredibly diversified entities. Customers have a range of shopping choices during the holiday season. Therefore, businesses should demonstrate their customer-centric mindset by implementing said attributes in all dealings with customers. This mindset can ensure that customers experience a stellar shopping experience which boosts the holiday spirit. In light of the above, we may state that brands and businesses are essentially guardians of the customer experience. Their stewardship of said experience will likely weigh heavily on their business performance in the following sales cycles.
In a world pervaded by technology and its manifestations, brands and businesses must reinforce the human element in their commercial operations. The ‘human touch’ comprises a fundamental aspect of a modern customer experience. The considered deployment of the human element in multiple customer touch points ensures an outsize return on commercial engagements. In line with this, business enterprises should reinforce this element when they design the overall customer experience. This commitment to a customer-centric mindset may pay rich dividends in terms of brand performance, customer perception, and through enhanced brand value.
Technology platforms should be upgraded and made failsafe during the approach to year-end festive seasons. This is critical when we bear in mind the fact that a majority of business processes depend on modern technology. For instance, an e-commerce business operator should plan ahead in order to effectively deal with the heightened flow of traffic during the holidays. Back-end servers should be reinforced to offer a seamless customer experience on websites and apps. Shipping processes must be streamlined to deal with the anticipated surge in business. The business leadership should also sensitize all staff persons to respond to customer requests and pain points with alacrity. These actions highlight the customer-centric mindset of the e-commerce operator. They also indicate an acute commercial interest in tapping the shopping frenzy that surges at the close of the calendar year.
Market research indicates that ease of movement has an important bearing on the customer experience in retail shopping destinations. Flagship stores and shopping malls typically attract large volumes of customer footfalls during the festive season. Therefore, businesses should create special plans that ease the flow of visitors and shoppers inside large shopping establishments. Any roadblocks on the shop floors should be resolved immediately. In addition, alert staff persons can help shoppers find their choice of product, while check-out staff should ensure that queues near the exits are managed efficiently. These actions arise out of a deep commitment to a customer-centric mindset. These actions also ensure healthy foot traffic, thereby creating the grounds for achieving high sales figures.
Agility in business decisions enables commercial operators to create and reinforce a customer-centric mindset. Business owners must acknowledge the fact that modern customers are finicky entities that are ‘spoilt for choice’. The sheer range of products and services offered by modern markets creates and deepens a sense of customer confusion. This contributes to creating a certain arbitrary aspect in modern consumer behavior. In light of these facts, business operators must maintain fully stocked inventories and lubricate the pathways between business premises and product storage depots. These measures ensure that a brand can respond rapidly to any changes in customer preferences. We note that businesses must commit themselves to such choices, thereby burnishing their promise of a customer-centric mindset.
Customer education represents a key aspect of modern business operations. Scientific advancements and technological progress comprise key inputs into the products and services offered in commercial markets. Therefore, business operators have a duty to educate their customers and clients in terms of new offerings, new product features, and the benefits therefrom. Businesses must bake this attitude into the conduct of every customer-facing employee. The outcomes may include a firm-wide commitment to honour a customer-centric mindset. In addition, better products may enter the markets in response to businesses paying attention to customer feedback.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the techniques that enable modern businesses to embrace a customer-centric mindset during the holiday season. We note that the process that develops and sustains this mindset may be prolonged because change can emerge at a glacial pace. Therefore, management buy-in is important to achieve the long term goal of customer-centricity. Similarly, staff persons at all levels must embrace the attitude and make it their ‘second nature’. Further, certain challenges are manifest when businesses strive to maintain said stance during the pressures of the holiday season. A part of this challenge lies in maintaining certain equilibrium between selling merchandise and resolving customer queries and concerns. The creation of a pervasive work culture and corporate ethos that places the customer in the center can enable businesses to generate such equilibrium.