How often do you look at your sales floor through the eyes of your customers? Once a year? Once a quarter? Never? We recommend that you be a customer in your store at least once a month. This invaluable trip will help you zero in on things that are out of place or need your attention. Our No-Fail Perception Exercise will help. Here’s how:
KIZER & BENDER’s No-Fail Perception Exercise:
1. Look at the same things that you review each day during your 360 Degree Pass-By. During this exercise, you will spend more time observing each area.
2. Don’t fix, move or adjust anything in the store before you do this exercise. You want a clean vision of what the store really looks like on a typical day.
3. Survey your store during regular business hours – not before opening or after closing. You want to do this exercise while customers are in the store shopping.
4. Dress in the same attire as a typical customer. If it’s cold outside, put on a winter coat. If your customers tend to shop with children, haul a stroller and diaper bag with you. If you are a scrapbook or craft retailer emulate your customers: pull a rolling tote while your arms are filled with all things your customers typically bring with them to a crop or class. You want to recreate the customers experience as closely as possible.
5. Don’t just put on your coat and walk out the door. Hop in your car and drive down the street. Re-enter your parking lot and drive by your store from all directions so you can see it from different perspectives.
6. Carry a notepad and make a list of things to do; you can prioritize your list later and make changes as necessary. You might even want to ask a store associate to do the same exercise – you can compare notes later.
Remember that perception becomes reality. If you do not control how your store is perceived, it just might get away from you. Customers will create their own perception of your store and you might not like the one they choose. Your diligence will help ensure that customers see your store as you want them to see it. That alone is worth the time it takes to look at your store through your customers' eyes!
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