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The importance of customer service and reputation

Becky Griggs-Tyman of Bromley Brides discusses the importance of customer service in encouraging referrals and gives her tips on how to ensure your brides leave a glowing review.

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There are several key business practices which significantly contribute to success in bridal retail. In the seven years I have been running Bromley Brides, our customer service has been paramount in the way we create standards, build trust and secure word of mouth with our brides. It forms part of our brand ethos to give back to customers and leave our brides, their friends, and family, with beautiful long-lasting memories.

One of the most wonderful things about this industry is the connections we make with our brides. To be such a big part of their personal journey is an honour, so our job is to create those special magical moments and help them feel beautiful.

Ethos of the Brand:

Your brand values and ethos must set the standard.

Bromley Brides is a family-run business, which has been bringing brides their dream dresses for nearly a decade. When the bride celebrates, we want to celebrate with them. We truly believe that we don’t just sell the dress, we sell the experience! Not only do we want brides to find their perfect dress amongst our collection, but to also take away cherished memories. Thus, every little detail is looked after, from answering enquiries on social, booking appointments, to offering post-appointment goody bags and aftercare.

We strive to deliver the best customer experience because it’s this attention to detail that stays with our customer when they come to recommending boutiques to their friends. We love seeing all their pictures from their Big Day and have recently introduced a Real Bride portal, for brides to submit their wedding in a blog style which we feature monthly online.

Experience & Environment:

These two elements go hand-in-hand. If you can create the ultimate setting and environment, the experience will follow.

We are passionate about creating a beautiful and stimulating environment where brides can relax, enjoy the experience with their friends and family, and share their special moments on social media.

This is why we created The Wonder Room, a luxury bridal suite full of Alice in Wonderland ‘Instragrammable’ moments, complete with champagne bar and an array of in-store neon signs such as ‘Say Yes to The Dress’, to ensure fun and playfulness was part of their day with us. We know our brides will share these pictures and videos amongst their community of followers, which in-turn increases our click-throughs, overall following and engagement.

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We work with Bridal Live, which not only schedules bookings but also collects vital information about our brides ahead of their appointments. From the date of their big day, the venue, theme, and dress preferences, it helps us to pinpoint exactly what kind of bride we are serving and how we can upsell accordingly.

As part of this software integration, an aftercare email is sent out to brides after their appointments asking for a direct referral on Google/Facebook, which instantly contributes to our online store rating and Google SEO.

When we have a series of glowing reviews we always like to capture them to promote across our website and social platforms for extra visibility.

Reputation – Social & Website:

One of the most dynamic areas of growth is the digital and social sphere, and the ability to update and share your successes instantaneously. Around 60% of our new brides now come from social media or the internet, and the remaining 40% come through word of mouth or referral.

In today’s world, your website and social channels are a window to your brand, so you must create the ‘wow-factor’ to attract new brides, whilst acknowledging and engaging with your existing audience to make all feel special from the start of their bridal journey.

Videos have been key to showcase our boutique and drive bookings, so delivering a face-to-face service is essential. To keep ahead creatively on social, it’s all about collaboration and consistently producing strong content which will resonate with your audience. We have recently discovered TikTok, enabling a plethora of creative content, which then funnels users through to our Instagram page.

Upskilling Staff Members:

This element is vital to keep ahead in the fast-paced world of retail.

We recently went paperless through implementing Bridal Live which consolidates our appointments and entire inventory. This meant our staff had to be re-trained in how to operate through our main computer. It’s a unique software system which takes some getting used to, but the sale process is now a lot swifter and our staff use iPads to find stock and take/create payments.

The benefits of upskilling are motivated, incentivised staff members who have the power to make informed decisions with sales, which in turn benefits the business.

With the recent addition of our VIP Platinum Appointments by David Emanuel, we offered staff members an incentive to upsell appointments. This in turn helped them to feel motivated, in addition to reaching their dress sales targets.

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