In the retail world, the best opportunity to create loyalty and generate repeat business is through associates who are relationship builders. We all know these exceptional individuals; that person who gets to know you, welcomes you into the store with that big smile as soon as you walk through the door, and remembers your name.
So, hiring the right sales representatives and training them to provide exceptional customer service is essential. I will go out of my way to drive to the Dunkin Donuts to see Mary even if I’m closer to another place to get coffee in the next town. Joan, the local florist knows what I want even before I do and Steve, at Best Buy, remembers my name even though I’m only in the store every few months. These relationships are golden.
Loyalty is built between a customer and the person behind the counter or desk, not the brick and mortar establishment. I used to shop at a well-known department store until my special sales lady, Ruth, moved away. I wished her well and wanted to remain a customer, but the visit after Ruth left was not the same. She knew my kids, my wife, my tastes, and when I was going on a vacation or business trip. I’m trying to find someone like Ruth to help me and get to know me like she did, but I haven’t found another her yet.
Staff your business with associates who understand how to create those special bonds. Customers will return because they feel special, appreciated, and understood. It is a key to success and it will always be your company’s most competitive weapon.