So simple it’s difficult

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There are times I think delivering a great experience and maximizing our customer opportunities really shouldn’t be that hard.  But over and over I personally experience how difficult it really is.

It’s amazing how we can make and lose sales in a matter of seconds or minutes, or by doing or not doing some very basic things. As I’ve said many times, consistency is our biggest challenge and our greatest opportunity.

Let me give you an example.

One day I was shopping in a jewelry store in a small town here in Massachusetts.  There were two women working in the store.  Saleswoman #1 was working with a customer who was buying a gift for her daughter’s birthday.  The woman did a good job engaging the customer and making it a nice buying experience.

Saleswoman #2 asked us if we wanted help.  Not so engaging, but as least we were acknowledged.  I thanked her for asking and said we were just going to look around.

Just after that a woman and her daughter walked in and asked saleswoman #2 to show them some charms for the daughter’s bracelet.  In the meantime, saleswoman #1 moved to the front of the store and started ringing up her customer.

In walked an older gentleman.  He stood by the counter waiting to be helped, and after neither employee acknowledged him he walked completely around the jewelry counter. About two minutes later, having never been acknowledged, he walked out the door, got into his late model Mercedes, and drove off. 

Who knows his story?  Maybe he just had a question, or needed to pick-up a repair, and decided to come back when someone was available.  Or maybe he wanted to buy something – maybe something really expensive.  He didn’t need to wait.  There are probably several jewelry stores within a short drive of this one.  Maybe he’ll be back. Maybe he won’t.

I am not in any way being critical of the two saleswomen.  They were each busy helping a customer, but at the same time they missed a potentially big opportunity.  

If only they had done something as simple as acknowledging this gentleman by saying, “Hello. We’ll be with you in just two or three minutes.  Will that be okay?”  Maybe they always do this, but missed this one.  It doesn’t matter now.  He left.

This is why I believe that regardless of how busy or how slow you are you have to ask yourself two questions after every customer walks out the door.

1. Did I win or lose that customer?

2. Did I maximize that opportunity?

Two simple questions that are far easier said than done.  This is why we have to be relentlesson delivering an extraordinary experience to each and every customer.  Period.

The key is to look at every customer who walks in the door and tell yourself:

1. I will win that customer!

2. I will maximize this opportunity!

So let me ask, will you win every customer and maximize every opportunity today?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.

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