March 7

Everything Old is New Again


We know this. We’ve heard our parents say it; we’ve heard fashion editors say it.

And now it is going to work to the retailers’ advantage.

Now that so many grocery stores, gas stations, banks…you name it, have moved to self serve, or barely serve, those of us who actually want to serve customers can stand out.

Retailers have difficulty trying to differentiate themselves with subtle offerings.

Everyone wants to ‘WoW’ the customer and ‘go the extra mile’ – really trying to out – do the competition.

Some are still talking about that, although few actually manage to do it.

Some manage to do it in a genuine way, and that’s wonderful.

Like Johnny, the bagger – no one can dispute the fact that he is adding value and really making a difference for the customer. Again, being genuine is the key.

Anyway, the great news is, there is so little being done to be ‘nice’ to customers these days that just being ‘nice’, respectful and considerate will have an impact.

In other words, just doing the job as it was meant to be done will be appreciated and, sadly, will ‘WoW’ some customers.

I am surprised, myself, these days, when a clerk or server is smiling and pleasant and nice to me. But why am I surprised?

The answer is simple…because it’s become a rarity. Imagine!!

So try to think back to when customer service meant serving the customer, not just being there – standing there like a pylon hoping no one asks anything or wants a smile during the exchange of money at the cash desk.

It’s so bad out there that some employees should be forced to wear warning signs around their necks so unsuspecting customers can avoid them.

We have to mention, as we always do to those of you out there who are good retailers offering the customer the courtesy and respect they deserve… thank you and keep up the good work.

No offense, to you, is intended.

Now, here is what you can do to take advantage of the fact that Everything Old is New Again:

  • Smile and greet your customer, preferably by name
  • Ask about her Aunt Edna’s little dog, Fido
  • Pay attention to her and if you notice she has a new hairstyle or is wearing a new dress, compliment her
  • Tell her that those candies she loves so much have just come in
  • Chat with her while she pays for her purchase and ask her if there is anything else she needs
  • If she pays with cash, hand her the change properly
  • Wrap her purchase with care – respect her new item
  • Politely hand her the bag and thank her for coming in
  • Tell her it was so nice to see her again
  • Invite her to come back anytime at all because she is always welcome
  • Tell her that if there is anything she needs, just give you a call, or stop by

This is what happened in the early 1900’s through to, say, the 1970’s.

If you can do what we suggest above, you will be way ahead of many other retailers. Honestly, that is all it will take.

Forget WoW for NoW – Start with Nice!!!



Be nice to customer

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