Imagine a busy mother who has four kids. She is preparing for back to school. When she comes into your store an hour before you close, she may have a full list of things to get. How easy is it for her to shop in your store? Are things marked clearly? Are the aisles marked with numbers and labels so it’s easy to find things? When you make life easier for your customers, they will continue to come back time after time.
You’ve probably heard of role-playing when someone is practicing the art of acting or possibly even preparing and practicing for a job interview, but what about customer role-playing? It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your customer so that you can gain some perspective about their shopping experience.
Create a Customer Profile
This is who you are going to pretend to be for 20 minutes. Create a fake name, age, and add how many children this person has and write it on a small notecard.
Create a Shopping List
Create a reason why this person would want to come in your store for back to school shopping. The more specific you are with this part the better. These will be the items you will search for.
Inform Your Employees
Tell your employees that you are going to do a customer role-playing activity for 20 minutes after you close the store one day as a way to put yourself in the customers shoes to see what could be improved in the shopping experience.
The day of, get your little note card with your reminders and go outside of the store. Get into your acting role and enter your store as the pretend customer. Do your best to stay in character while you walk around collecting items and asking questions. Remember, it’s ok to laugh, too. This is meant for learning but it can also help lighten the energy at the end of a long day.
Designate one person to take notes afterwards and document everyone’s thoughts about how the customer role playing went.