Retail Shops: Zero = Less than Zero

Our friends visited the Marketplace at Jordan Creek again recently.  (Here’s my original post on the customer experience I’ve had thus far there)  When chatting about the experience, our friend said, "It was a bad experience and I experienced horrible customer service."  I asked for elaboration during which I was told, "No one approached me, said a word to me, or offered to help me…even though I was buying a cart full of cheeses and gourmet items."

I confirmed my understanding, "So you mean a NEUTRAL experience was a NEGATIVE experience for you?" YES.  In that setting especially YES.   Our friend went on to explain how she, "Probably would have purchased whatever wine the employees suggested for cheese pairings and even more cheese selections if someone would have asked about preferences and tastes."

This is especially true when consumers are spending discretionary income on high priced, high margin items. The folks at the Marketplace could turn these experiences into:

  1. Average ticket raising customer service clinics.
  2. Loyalty building "expert discussions" about wine, cheese, and meat pairings.
  3. Inspiring culture building occasions to spread through the company like wildfire.

Remember:  When you are in the business of providing high end goods at premium prices especially…(think Starbucks), you can turn potential customers into raving fans of your brand by delivering a truly dynamic and engaging customer service experience.  This is not something you’ll teach your employees in a class.  This is something that starts from the top, is burned into the culture through living the example daily, and is propagated by hiring the right people.



One thought on “Retail Shops: Zero = Less than Zero”

  1. I had a sort of similar experience:
    I’m in the market for an SUV. I’ve been looking at all types (Toyota, GMC, Chevy, Infiniti, etc).
    I drive to my local Toyota dealer ship on a Sunday afternoon. As usual, I’m very pressed for time. I had several things that I needed to take care of that day, one of them included “Test Drive SUV” another was “eat lunch.”
    So, I drive up to the Toyota dealership, get out of my car and walk up to the front entrance. I’m greeted by a friendly woman with a clipboard who asks if she can help me. I breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Yes you can! (with a big smile) I have something that I need to take care of right now (eat lunch) but I’ll be back in 20-30 minutes. Could you make sure that there is a Landcruiser available for me to test drive?”
    Her smile slowly disappears and she says, “I’m sorry sir, but we can only pull out cars for people who are actually here.”
    I’m interested in buying the most expensive vehicle on the lot (of which they only had one) and you tell me that you can’t give me customer service? You can’t provide me the luxury of having a car ready to test drive because “its not your policy” to NOT waste your customer’s time?
    Even if I do end up buying a Toyota – I’ll never buy it from that dealership.

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