How to Engage Customers at Your Pop Up

You must engage with your customers. Assume your pop up has all gone according to plan. You’re open, the shop looks fabulous and, even better, you have customers coming in through the door. What can go wrong now?

Well, you can completely fail to engage with those customers. Ever walked into a shop and not felt welcome? If you have, you probably won’t go back to that shop in a hurry. After you’ve lost a customer, winning them back again is very hard.

Make visitors feel welcome

Aim to make all the visitors to your pop up feel welcome, without being too pushy. High-pressure sales won’t work in a pop up, so don’t worry about the hard sell.

You also don’t have the chance to really get to know regular customers, either, like you would in a shop that’s around for longer, so you need to build relationships quickly.

Start with the basics, but don’t be overpowering. A polite ‘hello’ as people come in always works. And this point is obvious: make eye contact and remember to smile!

You may feel so comfortable in the space you’ve created, particularly if you’ve been working with just a small team, that you start to treat it like home. Don’t!

In addition:

  • Don’t ignore people when they come in.

  • Don’t huddle with friends or colleagues in deep conversation.

  • Don’t bury your head in a book.

  • Don’t eat food at your shop counter.

The best shop staff are the ones who are interested in and enthusiastic about what they’re doing. To create the best experience for customers, staff need to be:

  • Prompt. You need to stop whatever you’re doing to help customers and serve them. Everything else – phone calls, sorting out stock and drinking coffee – comes second to the customer who’s in front of you.

  • Friendly. ‘How are you’ and ‘have a nice day’ go a long way. Polite but relaxed conversation is important to engage customers.

  • Listening. Hear what your customers say, respond to them and adjust your pop up to answer any recurring questions. The customer may not always be right, but you always need to listen to them!

  • Willing to go further. Service is something that sets you apart from the competition. Encourage your staff to give the extra inch and let customers take the extra mile. A cup of coffee, a free postcard or gift-wrapping are simple enough but make customers feel special.

Spread the word about your brand

While you’re engaging with customers, make sure that they’re linked to your whole brand and not just the pop up. Make sure that they can take away your details, too, by giving them postcards, business cards or a simple leaflet.

In addition, tell them all the ways in which they can keep engaged with your brand. If you have a Facebook group or fan page, a YouTube channel or a Flickr group, put the address on posters or vinyls around the shop.

Similarly, if you’re using a hashtag on Twitter, tell people what it is by writing it on the wall. To create the maximum engagement, use a projector or display on a screen a real-time display of all the tweets using your hashtag. A number of websites can help you create a display:

  • Twitterfall: Creates a stream of tweets and can be customised to show an account, hashtag or many other configurations.

  • Visible Tweets: A more animated version, creating interesting visuals from tweets.

With more technical knowledge, you can make a custom display using RSS feeds from Twitter.

If you’re planning future events, make sure you give your customers details before they leave. A simple flyer is a good reminder.

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