A positive experience at a big box retailer? And one that isn’t on Twitter or Facebook or (gasp) Foursquare – but IN THE STORE?
Maybe the move toward “The Social Brand” needs to start with brands actually being social – something we learned first-hand in a trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods this weekend.
We (myself, my lovely wife and the 3 #224lings) were in Glenview, IL – and, I took my eldest and middle to Dick’s while the others went shoe or clothes shopping or some such.
Big Box Retailers get a good virtual paddling now and again. Some of it is justified – as you don’t know what the service is going to be like, or you feel like you can have a better experience shopping online.
Our time, however, was positively notable for the following:
1. We could touch the merchandise. There were soccer balls and golf clubs. Flip-flops, more varieties of Crocs than I knew ever existed. Basketballs, which had a tendency to bounce on the floor.
No crook-eye, stink-eye or evil eye from anyone who worked there. In fact…
2. Anything we can help you find? If you’ve worked retail, this sort of question is better than the “are you finding everything okay?” we were told not to ask back in the day.
It’s also the kind of question that gets you to let your guard down for a half-second – “why, if I say ‘no’ I’d be lying because he could certainly help me find something, right?”
3. The staff made us feel like they wanted to be there. And they wanted us to be there, too.
The manager came up, when all five of our gaggle was in the lacrosse aisle, and asked us if we needed help with anything. Then proceeded to offer to high-five my kids. (All three accepted.)
What, young Jedi-master, is the point?
But there’s something to be said for “touch the merchandise,” “friendly, knowledgeable, genuine staff” customer service.
Got a restaurant, or a pizza place? What’s more important – feet in the door, or giving those who are inside the best experience you can?
Coffee shop around the corner – you can’t compete with Starbucks through volume – so why bother?
Tweets may be fleeting; check-ins and Mayorships and badges come and go.
But what’s the lifetime customer value of high-fiving your kid?