Recently, when I was speaking with a retailer about our fitting room solution, they said something along the lines of, “That’s not really something our customer base needs.”
In fact, their clientele is exactly the type of customer who would benefit from this type of solution. It seems to be a common misconception that only a certain demographic appreciates call buttons, so I’d like to set the record straight on why everyone benefits from fitting room call buttons.
Fitting Room Psychology
When trying clothes on, customers feel somewhat vulnerable because they find themselves at least half naked in a public place during the process (this is especially true for female shoppers). Most fitting rooms are also not pleasant, well-designed spaces. Further, without insight into fitting room occupancy, associates often knock during the process or, heaven forbid, enter during the middle of it! These factors combine to cause customers to want to move in and out of fitting rooms as quickly as possible.
The fitting room experience seems fairly straightforward: customers bring in their selections, try them on, and make a buying decision. However, this is not always the typical customer experience. For example, as a form of loss prevention, stores will often limit the number of items allowed in the fitting room at one time. This means that the customer will have to try on clothes in “batches”, which can significantly disrupt the process. This is not only hugely inconvenient but it prolongs the process, creating longer wait times and higher walk-off rates.
During the try-on process, customers routinely find themselves in need of assistance, often without an easy way to ask for it. When there isn’t a way to easily get an associate’s help, customers find themselves faced with the decision to re-dress and leave the fitting room to serve themselves. When a shopper decides that they will leave the fitting room to get alternate clothing, the process of trying on clothes becomes even more arduous.
It’s inconvenient at best to change out of what they were wearing into something else, but it can also be awkward. Thoughts like:
“Should I leave my purse? Will it be safe?”
“Is it rude to leave and come back when there is a line of people waiting?”
“Will I lose my room if I step out?”
“What about the clothes I’ve already decided I want? Should I take them with me?”
“Is the door going to lock behind me? Will I have to track someone down again to let me in?”
“How much longer is this going to take, is it even worth it? Should I just leave?”
Much of the time, shoppers will decide that it’s not worth it and once they leave the fitting room, they’ll keep walking right out of the store. (It happens all the time – you can probably think about the last time you did this yourself.)
The Problem with Door Knocking
In order to prevent the customer from leaving the fitting room, many retailers encourage their sales associates to knock on the door and check on the customers intermittently. Unfortunately, door knocking as a fitting room service strategy is woefully ineffective because service is not being provided based off of the customers’ need-basis, but rather the associates’ best guessed timing. Caught in the middle of undressing many people will forgo asking for anything in order to avoid an awkward interaction.
An Effective Fitting Room Solution
The only way to ensure that customer assistance is available at the most effective time, is to implement a call button system that enables them to notify the associates when they are ready for help. This allows the service to be provided on the customers’ timing rather than the associates’. A customer who values their time is likely to appreciate a call button as it puts the power in their hands to reach out to an associate exactly when they want one. When assistance is needed, there are very few shoppers who won’t utilize a call button system.
Find out more about our fitting room call button solution here.