Now we've looked at the four main goals, let's take a moment to consider the barriers stopping us from achieving those goals. If we approach this initially with the goal of bringing more customers through the door (and put to one side what we do with them once they're in), we need to look at the challenges holding us back.
Every business will have a different answer to this, but it's worth spending a bit of time making a list, perhaps involving other members of the team who might have a different viewpoint. This exercise can be part of your SWOT analysis.
Consider the following examples:
Is there parking close to the store?
Is the store tucked away on a side street with low footfall?
Is there a competitor distracting your customers?
Is there an accessibility issue?
Is the storefront inviting?
Is the signage clear and does it use consistent branding?
Do the opening hours fit with customer requirements?
These are just a few initial ideas but you should encourage your team to throw as many ideas out as you can. Once you have a clear picture of the barriers, you can start to make plans to overcome those obstacles.
If you’re struggling to find the barriers that prevent more customers coming in, you could try engaging with your current customers to get their viewpoint on what they found difficult in their experience of using your business. Social media can really help here, if you have pages for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Google plus etc, make sure you check regularly to see what your followers are saying about you. Check that you have registered and taken ownership of your listing on google’s ‘places’ platform, referred to as ‘my business’. This is probably the top result if you search for your business on Google and even if you never completed the information yourself, if you’re an established retailer you will probably find it’s been done for you. And there’s a fairly strong chance your customers will have been leaving reviews already, so it’s important to take ownership and monitor this feedback channel. If you have a list of your customers' email addresses you can use a service like SurveyMonkey to invite after-sales feedback.
You can also invite customers in store to offer their feedback, perhaps with the incentive of a prize draw for participants, or keep it totally anonymous with a box for customers to drop their forms in to invite the most candid responses possible.