Retail Experience at Microsoft’s Flagship Store

Retail experience at Microsoft

Last week, Microsoft opened their first Flagship Store on one of the most famous streets in the world, Fifth Avenue, New York City.  It’s only steps away from the iconic Rockefeller Center, Cartier, and Saks Fifth Avenue, so in good company.

According to an October 25th Microsoft press release, “the opening was six years in the making”.  Living in Manhattan I seized the opportunity to visit and see first hand how the “Microsoft Flagship Store blends the world-famous retail experience of Fifth Avenue with innovation technology that is part of Microsoft’s DNA.”

My intention was to learn about Microsoft’s Surface Book, compare it to my four-year old MacBook Air and evaluate the customer experience.

I walked into the crowded store and a young woman greeted me with, “Welcome to Microsoft.”  I found the table with the Surface Books and was approached by a young man who explained the differences between my Apple and the Surface Book. He showed me all the features, very cool, and I thanked him and left.

After Joe helped me (his name was on his badge), our transaction was over. Although Joe was professional and provided me with information, he did not attempt to create any relationship or opportunity for follow-up.

How could my retail experience at Microsoft been improved?  Here are some ways to boost and enhance the retail experience:

  1. After I was greeted by the woman at the door she should have recorded my name and asked me what I needed.
  2. Direct me to the area where the Surface Book is located and send an associate to help or add me to a wait list
  3. Every associate should introduce him or herself and ask my name at the beginning of the interaction
  4. Associates should have a business card with his or her name, email, and hours.
  5. The associate should ask permission to get in touch with me to find out if I need more information or any questions answered and find out my preferred method of contact: email, text or phone

The new technology was impressive but the customer service only mediocre.  If Microsoft’s design was to create “the largest store to date and allow the representatives to provide a deeper customer experience of the ecosystem,” I think they missed the target.

A retail experience is more than just new technology.

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