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3 Lessons govies can learn from Retail
January 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm #238361
We’ve all seen govies and their agencies compared to zombies and dinosaurs (oh my!), but never compared to the daily struggles Sales Associates face. In this post, we’ll explore how the aggravating but fixable complaints in the retail industry relates to a citizen’s wish-list of how a Government website should function, specifically by incorporating digital outreach and engagement.
Struggle #1: Customer messes up entire (neatly-folded) pile just to hold up a shirt…probably while you’re standing right there asking if they need help.
This is similar to how a citizen feels when they subscribe to a Government newsletter, only to receive dozens of emails a day that they have to sort through just to find the one that fits their interests.
Solution: (R) Replenish and place sizes in order to cause less destruction and happy customer. (G) As GovDelivery’s guide, “The guide to digital outreach and engagement,” suggests, offer different frequency options by bundling messages so that a subscriber can receive multiple messages on a particular topic in just one email. This is a valuable, automated service GovDelivery provides along with personalized unsubscribe links that can remove subscribers from a specific topic as opposed to all topics from an organization.
Struggle #2: Customer asks, “Is there a sale going on?” even though there are hundreds of signs plastered throughout the store.
This is similar to how a citizen feels when they enter a site that doesn’t have subscription information evident immediately, as well as with directions.
Solution: (R) Not only should you greet and inform each customer immediately of current deals, you should place the signage on areas that the sale is specifically geared towards, i.e. on the flannels table place a sign that reads “All flannels 50% off”. (G) Your website should offer clear, compelling and ongoing updates that is repeatedly presented with the opportunity to opt-in on a specific content of interest. According to a 2012 GovDelivery client study, a light window overlay is the fastest and most effective method to gain new subscribers, where government organizations see between 250-500% subscriber growth. Other ways to increase visibility include standing out; not merging subscriber box to search bar, and placing subscribing option “above the fold” and in high-interest areas such as the right sidebar. Citizens like call-to-actions, so include a value proposition near where you can subscribe as well.
Struggle #3: When you’ve suddenly become a stylist and a customer insists you pick out a whole new wardrobe for them and applaud them as they try on each and every outfit.
This is similar to when a citizen wants guides, info graphics, research briefs, videos and trainings to help them solve problems and advance in their government careers, but these additional resources are not provided clearly on a site or after an article.
Solution: (R) bring out the merchandising-stylist-fabulous human being you have inside of you and place suggestive items near each other, you could even go as far as laying an entire outfit on a table. (G) Leverage public sector partnerships; connect organizations that share similar services, close physical locations, or offer general public service opportunities to create an essential network of government by including their information in the footer or provide direct links.
Please share your fun retail stories and recommendations to a user-friendly Government site below!
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