BEANS, BACON, BOLOGNA, AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS:
America’s Favorite Retailers Have One Thing In Common – Great Customer Service
One of the first jobs I held was with K-Mart. Back then
K-mart was one of the top retailers in the country. I was
proud of the fact that of all the sales people working
at our store, I generated more sales than any other
My success was based on one reason. I was good
at announcing “Blue Light Specials.” Most people
reading this probably don’t know what a Blue Light
Special is, but when I made my announcements
shoppers came running to my department with money
in their hand. I don’t want to say how many years ago
that was, but that was a long time ago. Wow, have
things changed since then. Now K-mart is at the bottom
of the list.
In May of 2007, the Quality Digest completed a customer
satisfaction survey of the best and worst retailers as
ranked by consumers.
Whole Foods Market
Barnes and Noble
Bath and Body Works
Dick’s Sporting Goods
In addition to ranking the best and worst retailers, the
survey analyzed the primary reason shoppers choose
one retailer over the other. As a business consultant
who specializes in hiring, service, and employee
retention, I consider this is the most important aspect
of the survey.
Consumer trends and brands change rapidly.
What is popular today soon becomes ancient history
tomorrow. However, there are two factors that consistently
build customer loyalty no matter what business you are in.
Which is more important–the price of the product, or the
shopping experience? Quality Digest asked people to
choose between two factors that would cause them to
recommend a store to others. The first factor was “value”
which equates to the feeling they “got their money’s worth.”
The other factor was the “shopping experience” which
included a gamut of elements such as friendliness and
helpfulness of employees, checkout lines, cleanliness,
and location of the product.
Front Line Employees Provide the Key to High Customer
In the end, the number one reason people choose a
retailer was the “shopping experience.” The survey
further showed the major contributor to the shopping
experience was “employee helpfulness.” Value and price
is important, but in this survey as well as others, the
number one reason shoppers come back over and over
again is the shopping experience.
Hiring good employees and then training them on good
customer service skills remains the driving force of either
creating a positive or negative experience.
Trader Joe’s is a different kind of grocery store that provides
both value and a pleasing shopping experience. Listed #2
on the list, these stores are growing rapidly in popularity.
One interesting customer service technique one store
employs is the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer. This unique
marketing flyer generated an additional $40,000 of
business during one weekend.
You can go to my blog and see the Trader Joe’s video
discussing the flyer.
Customer Service First Videos
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Go to this page to see samples of the videos: