The Big Question: Exit interview?

This month we’re asking retailers: A customer walks into your store, explores some products then makes for the exit to potentially purchase elsewhere. What do you do?

Louis Mitchell – M6 Beds

We absolutely encourage our customers to browse under no pressure – a bed is such an important purchase people need to be left to their own journey, with our team on hand to answer any questions they may have. When they’re finished and about to leave without buying, we thank them for visiting us and remind them we’re always here and available if they need any advice, information or assistance in the future. Our 5* reviews show our customers appreciate this approach as there isn’t anything worse than being chased around (or out) of a store!

Nigel Ledger-Lomas – Harvest Moon Interiors

I’d ask if they needed the toilet, as we have one but you can only use it if you agree to buy that sofa you’ve been sitting on for the last hour with your friend!

Grant Berry – Home World – Mattress & Bed Centres

If a customer has been in looking at beds in our store, then heads for the door, we would ask them….  “Why”? “What is it that they are trying to find?” This way we can hopefully steer the customer to something that they didn’t realise we can do or have. In fact, just recently this happened and we got the sale. The customer didn’t realise we could store the bed for them for up to six months. They were moving home and they weren’t ready to purchase until they knew the exact date they would be moving. They were pleased to get the job of buying a bed off their list of things to do.

Craig Wileman – Store Manager – Mattress Online Doncaster

We thank them for visiting and remind them of our core USP’s, facilitated by the consultative conversation the customer received from one of our sleep experts during their visit.

Huw Williams – Toons Home Furnishers

I would normally ask if they had found what they were looking for and would they like any further help or information.

Peter Harding – Fairway Furniture

Humorous answer: Lock the doors!

Sensible, established retailer suggestion: Having recently used Furniture Sales Solutions for an extensive sales training programme with all our teams, anyone coming into the store would have been engaged within no more than a couple of minutes by one of our sales consultants. However, if that somehow hadn’t happened, I’d engage in conversation, almost like an ‘exit interview’. It’s interesting when you so this, as it helps to establish what opportunities we’re maybe missing or where they think we have perhaps not met expectations. ‘Showrooming’ is a problem in the furniture industry – not just losing out to the online sale but also between physical retailers, where space to display the full range is perhaps limited – but dig a little deeper and often customers really want to buy from someone they know and trust. Something got them to visit our store, so we have to do our best to make the sale and gain a satisfied customer.

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