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Opinion CX Strategy

When is a Fitting Room Not Just a Fitting Room

If there’s one place where the difference between companies around customer experience is apparent, it’s in the fitting room at clothing retailers.

On one side you’ve got the majority of stores which treat fitting rooms as a necessary evil and show it by how they deliver the experience to customers:

1. Long lines to get into fitting room
2. Forcing customers to rush while in the fitting rooms
3. Not providing timely or willing support to customers desire for different sizes or suggestions of alternate styles to fit their needs.
4. Investing very little in technology or fittings in the fitting room areas.

On the other side you’ve got a few retailers with a broader perspective, which are simultaneously delivering a far better experience to customers and significantly impacting key business metrics like same store sales growth, product return rates and referral business.

A lack of vision

You can see the perspective deficit: Thinking of fitting rooms as a cost center, worrying about staffing costs for fitting room staff and giving customers limited support while in the fitting rooms.

Where the ‘sale’ really happens

Retailers struggle with more than just sales. They also have to fight return rates and as well as poor referrals and repeat business. Much of what drives those two weak spots happens or doesn’t happen in fitting rooms.

Fitting rooms that are well equipped and well supported by staff can be the place where customers make final purchase decisions that really don’t trigger returns. What customers want is the pleasure of shopping without the burden of long delays and confusing decisions.

Comes Down to the Buyers Journey

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling software, clothes or a car. It all comes down to the buyer’s journey.

Understanding every step, tackling every key obstacle and making as easy as possible for customers to progress quickly from awareness to purchase.

The retailers that are signing on to the idea of an advanced customer experience in the fitting room are understanding that. They’re recognizing that tunnel vision about costs at the fitting room masks a larger economic problem facing retailers — creating consistent repeat and referral business with fewer and fewer returns.

Jan 17, 2015  

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