I received this advice from a retail consultant and thought you would appreciate it.
The demands of the holiday season can occasionally keep us from performing some of the services and elements of the customer experience that are standard operating procedure during the rest of the year. Maybe the store traffic is too high or the holiday customer just isn’t interested in a particular element. Take serving warm cider. A store that serves its customers warm cider throughout the winter may choose to not do so on last two weekends before Christmas. The store may find that the especially heavy traffic resulted in too many spilled drinks.
But there could be even a more important reason to stop offering the free cider. If the store was unable to keep up with the demand for the cider, the empty cider container would result in disappointed customers. Remember: Failing to fully execute a key element of your customer experience is worse than not offering it all. It’s true. Falling short is worse than not offering it all.
Here’s an example. I recently brought my car to one of those speedy oil change places. In the corner of the waiting room was a nice fixture with a sign above it that read “Complimentary gourmet coffee.” Unfortunately the fixture was bare except for some cups. Having a cup of coffee wouldn’t have even crossed my mind if the sign and fixture wasn’t there. But because there were visual cues that I should have gotten a free cup of coffee, I felt that I hadn’t received the full value of doing business with this company. And if they couldn’t keep up with a coffeepot, might they also be missing a few steps while working on my car? Falling short of executing a key element of your customer experience is worse than not offering it all.
A greeter who ignores customers is worse than no greeter at all. Having big rolls of wrapping paper in full view of the customer but not offering to gift wrap a customer’s purchase is worse than not offering gift wrapping at all. An empty candy dish is worse than never giving out candy. I think one could most definitely make a case that under-trained sales associates are worse than leaving customers on their own and just having cashiers to ring up purchases. Falling short of executing a key element of your customer experience is worse than not offering it all.
This isn’t just a seasonal issue, either. You see it in stores all of the time. You’ll see an empty brochure rack, or signs that read “No tipping for carryout service” but no one offers to carry out your purchase. Falling short of executing a key element of your customer experience is worse than not offering it all.
So let me ask, are there any changes you need to make to your store this holiday or going forward to ensure that you’re delivering on all of the elements of the customer experience?
Source: Doug Fleener