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Friday, May 01, 2009

Links of Note - Customers First!

It's All Linked by Love ~ Happy New Year to All!
originally uploaded by Do ~.
These Links of Note focus on customers.

That's right: customers -- whom we need more than ever, who have more choices available than ever before and whom we've possibly not taken as good care of as we should have.

Drew McLellan asks Is this the year of the customer? In his post, Drew suggests surveying clients or customers you might have lost...

Lisbeth Calandrino offers wonderful real life examples of successful businesses in Business is Alive and Well, Despite the Headlines and Having Trouble Doing Business? Maybe It's Not a Lack of Customers.

In the first post, she describes what Home Valu Interiors does to appeal to and connect with customers: multiple in-store events ranging from pet adoption to Ladies' Night Out...

What about line dancing? Yep. Look for that in Kentucky at another store...

The second post makes the point that "reducing quality, changing prices, taking away 'value' that you have always given the customer will not increase your brand value." To be successful, you need to connect with your customers, demonstrate that you represent value. A key to success? Empathasizing with customers.

Jay Ehret describes 12 Ways to Charge Customers a Higher Experience Tax. This post stops me in my tracks every time I read it. First, the notion of an 'experience tax.' Then, what goes into validating an experience tax:
  • being clean and uncluttered
  • surprising customers with your decor
  • turning on some sound
  • letting customers touch something
  • being open when customers need you to be open
  • letting customers pay the way they want to pay
  • training and testing employees
  • switching roles
  • having a dress code/uniform
  • having written systems
  • recording preferences and making them accessible
  • blowing their mind during service recovery
Wow! Talk about creating a memorable customer retail experience! Definitely worth thinking about and figuring out how to implement in your store.

In Yes, you can…, George Whalin - retail guru - makes suggestions for how to draw more customers into your store. Does it surprise you to hear that paying close and genuine attention makes a difference? And that your store experience matters, too?

A Little Retail 101 Goes a Long Way… by Retail Design Diva describes the perfect shopping experience. Read it and ask yourself how to translate that to your environment.

What have you found works to put customers first?

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