With the increasing level of competition in the retail industry, it has now become a game of survival-of-the-fittest. Yet, when we talk about the most successful retailers, the names that top the list are Amazon, Nike, Wal-Mart and the like. What gives these companies a competitive edge over their counterparts is the commitment of their employees towards delighting customers always. In this article, I would like to share some of the most unbelievable ways in which the employees walked the extra mile to provide the best kind of retail customer experience.
Nordstrom sets a shiny example
Mrs. Lisa McIntire Shaw is a regular customer of Nordstrom. One evening, during one of her many visits to her one-stop fashion store, Mrs. Shaw got consumed in trying out clothes and making purchases. To her utter dismay, when she returned home, she realized that the diamond from her wedding ring was missing! She rushed back to Nordstrom and started looking for the diamond in all the places she picked her clothes from. Mr. Eric Wilson, Loss Prevention Manager at the store, who was out on his routine rounds, saw Mrs. Shaw frantically searching for something, and clearly in distress. He walked up to her and offered to help her with the situation. Even after spending hours searching the store, Mrs. Shaw couldn’t find her diamond and decided to return home.
Source: Nordstrom: Diamond Story
Mr. Wilson, along with two other employees from the Building Services team, searched every vacuum-cleaner bag to look for the lost diamond.
Even though these Nordstrom employees were not the customer-facing ones, they did not hold themselves back from resolving this customer’s woes. Customer-centricity must have a top-down approach at any organization – everyone must have a buy-in to this idea.
Trader Joe’s employees don’t shy away from going the extra mile
A worried daughter, whose father got snowed in, called a couple of departmental stores in the area to deliver groceries to her father’s house, as he didn’t have enough for meals. Everyone turned her down. Except Trader Joe’s. They normally don’t deliver grocery at the doorstep, but the Trader Joe’s representative on line decided to consider this as one off-case and help the retired WWII vet.
Not only did they deliver the groceries within 30 minutes, free of charges, the representatives also tried to suggest some items after learning that the woman’s father was on a low-sodium diet.
Just like Trader Joe’s captains and crew members, viz a viz managers and employees, empathized with the distraught daughter, all organizations must also be willing to build relationships, rather than just earn profits. Human interaction is as important as the policies of an organization.
Zappos delivers WOW through service
A newly-wed husband packed all his wife’s jewelry inside one of her purses and packed the purse in a spare Zappos box while relocating. It turns out, the box wasn’t spare after all. The wife was intending on returning the purse to Zappos in the same box, which she did, unaware that all her jewelry was still in that purse. While unpacking, the wife found out that all her jewelry was missing. When the newlyweds figured out the reason, they immediately got in touch with a Customer Services representative at Zappos and explained the whole situation.
To ensure the safety of the woman’s valued possessions, the representative instantly rerouted the package directly to his desk and decided to hand-deliver it to the couple himself.
Even though there was a gap of communication at the couple’s end, the Zappos representative felt responsible and, thus, took it upon himself to make sure that the customer doesn’t incur a loss. Other organizations must instill this kind of a culture in all their employees.