Can Great Customer Service Make Shopping Fun?


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Shopping; a necessary evil.  Inattentive sales people, long lines, poor service, messy stores, high prices, etc.  Retail sales people of today no longer know what customer service is.  Most people don’t enjoy shopping, we wonder why.  I’m no different.

For me, buying a suit isn’t usually that much fun.  But for me it was.  What happened to make this situation different and make it special? Here’s my story…

About one month ago I was searching online for a local men’s clothing store to buy a new suit. I haven’t been too happy with the past few suits, or the customer service I received, from the stores I have been to lately. It was about time for a change.

My wife remembered that she saw a new “suit store” as she called it, in the local mall and off we went. Heck, what did we have to lose? It was a nice day so we hopped into the car.

Well I’m glad that we did.

As we rounded the corner in the mall we saw this store with floor-to-ceiling glass front windows that held some of the nicest suits I’ve seen in a long while. I couldn’t wait to get inside.

As I entered, the salesman, I found out later that he was the owner, greeted me with one of the warmest smiles I’ve received in a long time. Plus 1 for him.

As my eyes scanned the store I saw suit after suit that I liked but of course I thought they would be too expensive for my tastes. It turns out that they weren’t, but that’s just a bonus. Plus 1 for me.

As I weaved through the well laid-out racks of clothing the owner, Mike, asked me “what type of suit are you looking for”? Since I’m a tall guy I prefer 3 button suits. Mike politely walked me to the rather small selection of 3 button suits. I was starting to get disappointed thinking once again I would leave a store suit-less.

Mike scanned my shape and picked out a suit that he thought would fit, of course he was right. I tried it on, fit great. It’s a keeper, plus 2 for me.

Now my eyes keep looking around just like a kid in a candy shop and Mike caught on to this. “Is there anything else that catches your eye?” he said. “Yes, I like all the suits but they are 2 buttons and I don’t want that” I said.

Then just like a magician he pulls out a catalog from near the cash register and tells me that he can order plenty of 3 button suits from here. But, buy a suit from a catalog? Not my style.

Mike pulls 4 different 2 button suits from the far side of the store and quickly lays them out for me. “Do you like any of these?” he says. “Wow, I like them all but…

“Every one of these suits also comes in 3 buttons and I can order them for you, they can be here in 5 days. Same suit, same quality and you can get free alterations too”.

I’m now in suit-heaven. Plus 3 & 4 for me since I bought 2 more suits. And plus 2 for him.

As Mike is ringing up my order he, without being prompted, offers to take $50 off the total order since I just bought 3 suits today. I think I need to marry this guy!

As my wife, of course I couldn’t really marry this guy, and I leave and hop into our car I am so happy that I found a new suit store, my collection is now 3 suits larger and we got a great deal. What more could I ask for.

Here comes the extra customer service part…

A week later when I return to get fitted for the 2 ordered suits, I entered his door with receipt in hand. I see Mike behind the register, we make eye contact, and he then disappears into the rear of the store. Now I’ll have to wait for him to finish up whatever he was doing, oh well.

But no, Mike comes right out with my 2 ordered suits and his big smile. No need to pass my receipt over the counter, no need to explain what I was here for, he already knew. Plus 3 for my new suit-guy Mike.

I try my 2 new “catalog-suits” on and they fit great, with the help of a little tailoring of course. Mike says that the tailoring usually takes 1 week but he can rush it for me in 3 days if I like. Plus 4 for Mike.

Since I was not in a rush for the suits, and I didn’t want to take too much advantage of my new buddy, I told him it was not a rush and came back in a week to pick up. Another warm smile and a wave and I left the store.

One week later I returned like a conquering hero from battle.

No need to announce my presence, no need to show a receipt, no need to do anything except walk into the store. Two finely manufactured and tailored suits were quickly tried on, I hate trying on clothes, but when they fit well and the price is right who cares.

Another wave and a smile and I was off.

At this point I lost count of how many pluses Mike or I got during our transactions but who cares. He made a happy customer that will return again and again, ME!

Isn’t that what customer service is all about?

Buying a suit shouldn’t be this much fun.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


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