Here I am on vacation writing this blog post. You may ask, “Are you crazy, Angela?” My answer to you is – probably! But I have to share this customer service experience that I just had that is truly worthy of me taking time away from vacation to share it with all of you.
Most beach towns are full of little gift shops. The town where I am staying is no exception. I was in need of a birthday gift for a friend so I popped into one of the little stores to see if they had anything that would do the trick. When I walked into the store, the clerk behind the counter gave me a second to catch my breath before offering her greeting. She was cheery and quick to realize that I was a woman on a mission.
After saying hello, she explained how the store was laid out and where I would find certain items. She gave me plenty of time and space to browse the aisles, checking out the merchandise. When she sensed that I may have had some questions, she offered assistance by asking if there was anything special that I needed. I told her I was looking for a gift for a dear friend of mine who was having a birthday. She then proceeded to ask me several questions about my friend’s interests, her age, and my cost considerations. But rather than asking how much I wanted to spend, she asked me if I had a particular budget in mind, which is a much softer way of asking that question.
Now here’s the part that made this an exceptional customer service experience for me. When I went to the register to pay for my transaction, she asked me if I had ever been in the store before. I told her that this was my first visit. She then offered me a 10% discount on my purchase because I was a first-time customer! As she handed me my purchase and receipt, she told me how she enjoyed working with me – not helping me, working with me. She took herself out of the role of sales agent and placed herself in the role of consultant. It made me feel that I had a partner in this transaction and that my purchase actually mattered to her.
So if you’re reading this, Trudy, please know that I enjoyed working with you, too, and you made this experience memorable.
Now you are all going to have to excuse me. I need to grab my umbrella, beach towel and suntan lotion. There’s a spot on the beach with my name on it!
How do you identify first-time customers and do you do anything special for them?