Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The main difference between a bricks-and-mortar store and a digital store

Last week I did visit a golf store to buy some new shoes. While I drove by with the car, I could not find their parking, as the area was completely closed and there were no signs at all. When I finally did enter the store (at 10.20 am) they were still vacuum cleaning. Not a good sign, why can’t you make sure that this is done before the store opens?
I did go straight to the shoes and looked for the particular model that I was interested in. I could not find it and it took quite some time before a sales repr approached me. She also didn’t know whether they did sell that model! The boss told her “if it is not on the table, we don’t have it”. Hmmm, again not a good sign. Although they had an alternative, it was not even offered to me. Then I did have a look at their clearance sale and did find a suitable pair of shoes.  I did go for the low price.

The total customer service experience was so bad, that I will never return to that store.
However, the main differentiator between a bricks-and-mortar store and a digital store is the customer service. I did not order the shoes online, as I wanted to try them on and walk a bit around. And I had some questions, which were not being answered on the site. This I was also prepared to pay more because I would value the customer service. The opposite happened, because of bad service, I paid less than I had planned for in my budget.

Research clearly indicates that many people are willing to pay more for good customer service. For bricks-and-mortar stores it is vital to provide super customer service!

Are you planning to design a great customer service experience?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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