As a woman, I can say from personal experience that shopping for clothing can be incredibly frustrating. The store I’m in makes all the difference in the world; even in chain stores, the employees and attention to detail in a particular location can make or break my experience.
But we rarely get to voice our opinion on that. While nothing will ever take the place of a live human making eye contact and asking sincerely, asking for feedback in any way will put you head and shoulders above most clothing retailers. Consider using text message–based surveys to gauge your customers’ feedback on a day-to-day basis. Here are two ideas of areas in your stores to use these surveys:
In fitting rooms: Try hanging signs on those floor-to-ceiling mirrors inviting customers to tell you about their experience with your product thus far. Did they find the sizes they needed? How are things fitting? Did they need help finding things?
At checkout: Ask customers whether they got the help they needed. By sending a message to the text code on the sign at the register, they can give feedback on their experience, from the girl in the fitting room to the person ringing them up.
You’ll get their feedback instantly, pushed to your phone or e-mail. That gives you an opportunity to find them while they’re still in the store, if necessary, and correct anything that has gone wrong as soon as it’s happened. If a customer speaks especially highly of an employee, you can reward that employee instantaneously for their excellent survey. There’s a lot to be said for quick response.
This might also be a great opportunity to leverage members of your store’s loyalty program or mailing list: Push an SMS/text message to them inviting them to participate in a survey, in exchange for a token discount they visit your shop — or an invite to a members-only Ladies Night Out event, or a perk of your choosing. Make it special for them!
These surveys can be especially valuable because they provide real-time, real-life feedback from people who already shop in your stores. They aren’t being paid to come in and buy things; they don’t have a list of criteria to look for during their visit. All they’re worried about is having a satisfying experience in your store that ends with them finding clothes that fit them well.