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When it’s all about the customer, you get the sale

Doing that little bit extra for a customer won’t just mean you’ll get the sale, you could also end up with a customer for life.

I’ve just shopped my little heart out in New York. It was my first visit to this wonderful city and I loved it.

I’m not a shopper, far from it. Shopping bores me to tears. I really have to be in the mood to be willing to shop, and if I don’t have success fairly quickly I have a coffee and go home. Let just say, in New York I had success – and thoroughly enjoyed myself as well. That experience is what I want to tell you about.

I walked into Gap on 5th Avenue and was immediately greeted by a singing staff member, which made me think, she’s happy (happy staff = happy customers). After browsing around for a little while, one of the staff members asked if I required assistance and I clarified Australian to US sizing with her. Then I proceeded to load my arms up with items to try on. I was spotted by yet another staff member, who asked if I wanted a bag to put the items in to make it easier for me to carry. Well, this bag is four times the size our enviro grocery bags and was, therefore, quite sufficient.

What a fantastic idea! Not only did it make it easier to carry all the items, while I continued to browse and add to my collection, having a bag enabled easier browsing as I had both hands free. Brilliant! Business lesson 1 – allow your customers to browse and sample what you have to offer in the easiest way possible.

Oh dear, I thought, I’ve got too many items to take into the change rooms, there must be a limit. But no, not at all. I could take in as many as I wanted, so my 25+ items and I entered the change rooms and started the personal fashion show. All but 10 of those items were the wrong size, but this was not a problem for the staff. They simply retrieved the size I was after. Business lesson two – don’t put barriers in the way of customers getting what they want and providing a valet service ensures the customer is not inconvenienced.

Not only did I make a large purchase of women’s clothing, but I also purchased kid’s clothes as well, after experiencing the same service on the children’s clothing floor.

Two hours later I walked out one happy customer, but you’ll be pleased to know I was done for the day and headed for coffee and the hotel.

They got the sale – and will probably get more online business from me in the future. This lesson is not just for retailers; it’s for us all. How can you apply these lessons to your business?

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Alycia Edgar

Alycia Edgar

Alycia Edgar is a fully qualified accountant, systems specialist and small business owner who developed Bookzkeeper, an accounting solution for small businesses and their accountants. It is her mission to provide business owners with a greater return on the time invested in their business and tell the story behind their numbers. Find Alycia tweeting at <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/alyciaedgar">@alyciaedgar</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/bookzkeeper">@bookzkeeper</a>.

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