Running a profitable small retail business these days is not easy, thanks to e-commerce giants like Amazon, which have significantly raised the bar for attracting customers. Even so, there is one specific thing small retailers can still do to counter this cultural shift in shopping behavior and that is, to provide cheerful customer service, face-to-face.
There is a Chinese proverb that says: “ A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” That could mean, “ If you can’t provide positive customer service you shouldn’t be in business.”
Look at the Amazon logo. It includes a smiling arrow that points from “A” to “Z. Was the intention of that design to evoke a positive online buying experience because you can find anything you want – from A to Z – at Amazon? Sure it does.
The difference is that brick-and-mortar shops can provide positive customer service in person – as long as they can deliver the goods their customers came into their store to buy. But to do it, they need an efficient inventory management strategy. Think about it. If you don’t have the items in stock your customers expect to find, they will go elsewhere. Maybe even on Amazon.
The thing is, according to the latest State of Small Business Report, of the 1,100 small business retailers that were surveyed, 43 percent are still managing inventory manually, which allows way too much room for error. These days, if you’re still doing the job of inventory management manually, that’s nearly as antiquated as using an abacus.
With inventory management services and cost-efficient automated technologies easily available, why not use them? Then you can positively deliver what your loyal customers want, and you can do it with a genuine smile they will enjoy.