The Perfect Retail Associate at @Macys

Filed in Blog by on September 8, 2014
The Perfect Retail Associate at @Macys

Two years ago at Christmas, a friend gave us a gift card to Macy’s.  For whatever reason, one of the largest department stores in the world was not on our radar. Maybe because of its size and crowds or its location in Manhattan, we never shopped there.  However, armed with our gift and needing new sheets, we decided to go to Macy’s after the holiday rush to find new bedding.

We arrived just as the store opened and was greeted by Rochelle with a big smile and welcoming attitude.  It was really cold that morning and the first thing she said to us was, “ I’m glad you’re inside where it’s warm.  How can I help you?  Something important must have made you venture outside on this frigid day.”  We told her what we wanted, that we had our gift card and she responded, “ You came to the right place.”

Immediately we liked Rochelle.  Not only was she a delightful person, she knew her stuff. There was no question she could not answer about all the merchandise on her floor.  She was on a first name basis with every associate working in the department.  Rochelle asked us many questions too: what was our color scheme, what kind of furniture did we have, what about photos of our bedroom to give her a better picture of what we could purchase.

Rochelle had many suggestions.  She pointed out every pro and con.  We selected merchandise and she kept all the items at her cash register so we could see everything together and know how much it all would cost.

We learned that Rochelle had been working at Macy’s for years, not months or a season, but for a long time.  She shared some stories from her extensive career and told us about her family.  We were so happy to have met her and she was excited as well.  Rochelle gave us her email and said we could reach her anytime with a question or concern.  She invited us to return to Macy’s.

Fast forward to last week.  We decided that new towels for the bathroom would be nice and without any hesitation, emailed Rochelle.  We knew she would still be on the sixth floor of Macy’s and asked when she would be there.  We were looking forward to seeing her again and relying on her expertise.

Our second experience was just as fabulous as the first. Rochelle was our tour guide as we walked from one bath department to another.  If she didn’t know the stock in a particular area, she asked one of her fellow co-workers to check the inventory.  As we browsed and brought things to her register, she not only took care of us, but other customers as well.

We bought our new towels and a few other things too and when we said goodbye to Rochelle, it was like leaving a good friend.  Of course she said she hoped to see us soon and not to let too much time go by before another visit.

Rochelle has the perfect personality to create and build a customer relationship as well as the knowledge of her department to give us confidence that we were in good hands.

Both components are important.  Expertise coupled with a welcoming smile and listening to the customer and paying attention is the formula for great customer service.

How much is Rochelle worth to Macy’s?  I don’t know the dollar amount but, as the MasterCard commercial says:  Rochelle and the customer experience she creates is priceless.

 

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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