How sure are you that what is said to prospective customers is heard the way it may have been intended?
My lovely bride and I were out shopping earlier this year looking for new cushions to go with the chairs on our patio set. Our first stop was a garden/outdoor furniture center we go to frequently. Sure enough we found something that we really wanted, but there was a problem. We needed six cushions and the store only had four in stock. As we talked to the employee of the establishment the words “it is kind of late in the season you know” came out! I looked at my wife and said did she just blame us for not coming earlier in the season? Probably wasn’t her intent, but that is pretty much what we heard. We decided to try another store.
Our next stop was a well known patio furniture establishment in our area. When we walked into the store, we had to go past the sales desk to look at the cushions. As we walked by, one of the sales people was holding court with his colleagues. He was telling them how management wanted him to call his customers when orders came in and give them a heads up that delivery would be scheduled. He actually told his colleagues “I don’t have time to call these customers, the sale is finished as far as I’m concerned”. We couldn’t believe we were hearing this and had heard similar anti customer sentiments in the matter of less than an hour within two different stores! We didn’t take much more time to look around as we were turned off by hearing this.
We ended up getting the cushions in the comfort of our own home on Hayneedle. Two easy sales were lost within moments due to the mindset of the employees representing these retail brands. Brands need to develop a culture that views situations through the eyes and ears of the consumer. It helps to ask yourself would I do business with myself? If you can find ways to deliver exceptional customer experiences, you will be best serving your customer. Most will remember how you made them feel over what they paid you for a product or service.