Who is first among the equals in your retail store? This is something fellow retailer Daniel Gordon and I were discussing long ago, and I think it’s a valuable topic for business outside of retail, as well.
Do you make a point of treating every single customer equally? Do you make decisions about them, based on how they look when they walk in?
|Do you treat everyone in your store
like visiting friends?
Are you the place where the exclusive folks shop? Do you evaluate customers based on what you know about their family?
Or are you the one who spends as much time and effort to make the $200 customer feel just as important as the $20,000 customer?
No easy answers, and each business has to decide for themselves. A few friends weighed in on this online discussion.
Jon Swanson said:
I really try to make it be balanced. The challenge at times is that the $200 customer takes more attention than the 20,000. I’m good with that. It’s the point for us, after all, but it has to be a persistent, consistent remembering to look at each person as a person.
Glenda Watson Hyatt said:
From the customer’s perspective, I can definitely say not all retailers treat me equally. I tend to avoid those who do not. My money works just as well down the street.
Glenda uses a scooter to get around and an iPad to speak for her sometimes. And sometimes, retailers treat her poorly based on what they see.
Steven Streight said a lot:
Since each customer is extremely important, and a person in a store is generally close to a buying decision, far closer than your average potential buyer on a list, you simply must treat each customer As If They Were Your ONLY Customer.
You do that and you’ll be providing astonishing, viral buzzy customer service.
Stop hanging out with fellow business associates in pity parties and get down and “dirty” with the folks who put money in your pocket.
Customer service is probably the #1 vulnerability of all your competitors, the bigger they are, the more they may suck at it.
Charge forward, smiling, advising, both in the store and on social media. Provide expertise, product model guidance, differentiation from competitors, strong reasons why customers should be loyal to you.
Always keep in the forefront of your consciousness how lousy you have been treated in some stores and places of business. Recall the insults, mediocrity, incompetence, uncaring attitudes. Burn them in your brain, without anger, but with zeal to do the opposite.
Listen to your fans. Pay attention to the needs, complaints, hatreds, fondnesses, questions, praise, and problems your customers express online and in person.
Take their input very very very seriously. Let their attitudes dethrone your pet perceptions. Identify with them and meet them genuinely in their valley of need.
How do you feel about this?
- Downtown is your town’s core: How to make your case - February 22, 2021
- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020
- In an economic crisis, spend your brainpower before your dollars - November 25, 2020
- Video: How to fill empty car dealership buildings for the holidays - November 6, 2020
- How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here - October 20, 2020
- The Idea Friendly Method to surviving a business crisis - October 6, 2020
- Join me for the Rural Renewal Symposium online Oct 13 - September 26, 2020
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020