Ah, the holiday season, a time that people frantically search for the perfect gift at the right price, while retailers hope a solid season puts them into the black for the year.
Although retailers may describe the shopping blitz as hectic, overwhelming, and stressful, it’s also a time to shine and earn customer loyalty. Just as the best athletes respond to pressure situations, leading companies excel during the holiday season.
My shopping is almost done and most presents have been shipped or delivered. These are unchartered waters for me, and that’s due largely to the outstanding service provided by several retail and mail order companies.
On the other hand, not all the companies I purchased from were as responsive, and that’s the nature of business. But going forward, I’ll simply shift my business from the underachievers to those that set the bar high.
Those outstanding organizations know several important things about shoppers:
Time is precious
People want an efficient shopping experience, whether it’s picking up a few things at the store or navigating a website for gifts.
Most of my online delivers came within a few days — and with free shipping. The stores I’ve visited in person have enough employees to provide quick checkouts.
One email confirmation I received included only item numbers, with no names. When part of the shipment was cancelled, I had to dig to find out which item.
Ask what the customer wants
I receive daily emails from two companies, and the information seems pretty much the same from day-to-day. As a result, I delete most of them. A couple a week would be fine and more likely to be read.
Be on Santa’s Nice List
I’ve encountered some of the nicest, most patient customer service people this year. Good organizations undertand their value on the bottom line.
Look for Big George
Former heavyweight champ George Forman served as spokesperson for Meineke mufflers, ending each commercial with the phrase “I guarantee it.” Standing behind your products goes a long way. Are you more likely to shop at a store that cheerfully refunds your money, or one that tells you, “Sorry, this has been opened …”?
Your turn. What have you observed during this holiday season?