Listening to your customers’, showing your best merchandise while ready to delight them with the unexpected, were trademarks of the Neiman Marcusshopping experience in Dallas, TX at the turn of the century.
Although he’s not with us anymore, Mr. Stanley (as he was affectionately referred to) has left a lasting impression on the world and the way we shop. Stanley Marcus , his father and aunts ushered in a new era of what it meant to enjoy a “store experience”.
You may not recognize an “experience” in a brick and mortar store as too many of us in retail have become accustomed to short cuts and forget why we are ultimately there. The customers/clients (whatever your term) are the reason we open the doors in the morning.
Today there is a lot of talk about getting to know the mind of the customer and psychoanalyzing what they’re thinking. This pervasive chatter makes everything way too complicated. We are ALL the customer/client /buyer and the formula is simple.
Treat us as intelligent
Respect our buying power (you don’t know how much it is)
Be honest and approachable when you speak
Give us something GREAT to remember you and your store by
Here’s how to do it:
- Meet and greet people with a genuine smile
- If it’s comfortable for you, remark on something they’ve said or wear in a way that makes someone feel good
- “I really love that burgundy scarf you’re wearing, you’ve nailed the IT color of the season. Great choice!”
- Don’t smother people with smarmy sales techniques
- Be available for questions
- Customers are so savvy these days however a retailer may have more information in their arsenal and should be at the ready to impart the knowledge. Don’t push what you know but be ready when you’re needed. Stand near but not creepy and stalking
- Actively listen
- Rephrase part of a conversation back to a customer. You will be seen as likable and makes someone else feel heard
- Delight and sparkle
- Both during and after you’ve met, delighting customers can have lasting effects. Little gestures matter. Hand written notes, follow up phone calls about products, emails about new and exclusive offerings, remembrances of special occasions or anniversaries
At the end of the day, we want people to return to our stores, our products, our services again and again. Walking into work every day without the sole purpose of putting a twinkle in someone’s eye, loses the magic of what we do. I guarantee that the day won’t feel as long or as burdened if you’ve made the day of another person.