While walking into my local Bed Bath & Beyond store last week I was preoccupied with the thoughts of an upcoming major event; my daughter going away to college. A milestone, a traumatic event, a “relief”…
We had just completed all the college applications, financial aid packages, decisions on which school to choose, and dorm type. All that’s left is for her to enjoy her “last summer” as a high school student before the big jump to college, and the mountain of “stuff” we’ll have to pack and get ready for the dorm. I’m not looking forward to that part either…
Then it happened…
On a revolving rack in an auspicious location I noticed a detailed list of “what to bring to college”. There, out in the open, is exactly what we were looking for, a systematic guide of what, and what not, to bring to school.
The individual listings were classified by school with most of the major colleges and universities in New Jersey represented. This was my nirvana!
It also included the specific school address and directions, school contact and housing information and a transportation map. Great!
No longer would we have to guess if we were allowed to bring a coffee maker to her school, it was listed right there. There was no question if a refrigerator would be provided, that’s mentioned there too. And, all the 100’s of miscellaneous items needed; laundry bag, underbed storage cases, clothes hangers, extension cords, etc. were clearly listed with a check off box.
This was our must-have packing for school document – or as Bed Bath & Beyond called it, their “Campus Ready” list. This is genius!
Why is it genius? Because this company has provided a document, free of charge, that can and will help every student, and parent, planning for their college living needs.
Customer service advocates constantly stress the need for businesses to go above and beyond and cater to the wishes of their customers, to anticipate their needs and provide for their wants.
Bed Bath & Beyond has obviously done that, and provided a simple, yet surprisingly effective, way to satisfy their customer’s needs and generate revenue at the same time.
Their core products, bedding, bath and specialty electronics, are all needed for dorm life and they just provided an easy to follow chart to track them. All that’s left is to grab a big shopping cart, your Campus Ready list and start shopping. Brilliant!
Now, some cynical readers may be saying, “Sure, Bed Bath & Beyond only made that list so they could drum-up more business and make more money”. Well, here’s a news flash – every business is “in business” to make money!
Things are not necessarily always done out of the goodness of one’s heart. The investment in product, employees, advertising and structure must be offset with revenue and lots of profit.
But who cares? My needs were taken care of by this business. They provided “value” not found anywhere else and with the ease of satisfying my needs in a convenient way. That’s the core process of a successful business.
Hey, even if I didn’t buy these items at Bed Bath & Beyond and shopped elsewhere for them, I still had a great free “gift” that benefited and satisfied my needs.
The morale of the story:
Provide an easy way to shop, with a clear value message that satisfies your customer’s needs at the right time. Click To Tweet Doing so creates memories and loyal customers.