How and when should we approach our customers? Practical recommendations, tested during Mystery Shopping

11 seconds for the approach: according to statistics, that is the duration of users’ attention span. After 11 seconds, they normally shift their attention onto something else.     

Techniques of approaching  

Here are several techniques used to grab the attention:  

  1. Greet. Don’t ask what the customer wants right away. Give him or her space to find his or her way about.    
  2. Tell a joke. People might overlook an important piece of information but not a good joke. Get ready with several jokes in advance if you are not very good at improvising, yet. 
  3. Tell a story. If you start with “Imagine…” or “Once…” you can benefit from about 2 minutes of attention span.  It is a good idea to tell a relevant story which is rather short and relates some real-life experience.   
  4. Start a conversation. Ask a personal question, for instance, about how the respective person feels or whether he or she would like a glass of water or a cup of tea. You could also ask the customer if he or she likes the rainy or the sunny weather or what are his or her favorite colors when referring to clothing.  
  5. Amaze. Communicate sensational details that grab the attention. For example, mention what are the best-sellers and what type of buyers prefer purchasing them.   

It is not enough to approach. How do you keep the attention?  

Grabbing attention is only the first step. In order to keep it, bear in mind that to us, human beings in general and consumers in particular, it is important what we are told when:

  • It is a discussion about a new or a sensational piece of information;
  • It is a discussion about us;
  • We are spoken to in a cheerful, emotional and sincere manner;
  • We are spoken to in a concise and relevant way. In this way, we don’t get the impression that we are compelled to buy something that we don’t really want. We are spoken to in a beautiful but not deceitful manner.  
  • We can tell if the shop assistant is on our side, or if he or she is listening to us and is interested in our complaints if any. We can also feel it if the shop assistant is sincere enough when he or she tells us whether the chosen item suits us or not.