Nothing is more powerful than the customer’s actual experiences. Lou Carbone, founder of Experience Engineering, made this statement at the late September Retailing Summit in Dallas, sponsored by Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies.
It is such a simple thought, but it also is one that is ignored time and time again. Retailers love to talk about their first-rate customer service, but invariably customers don’t feel this love while they are shopping.
“We are surrounded by clues that tell us what we can expect as a customer,” Carbone said, further explaining that pristine toilet paper rolls tell business travelers that they can expect meticulous attention to detail at upscale hotels. Likewise, towels folded into the shape of animals deliver the same message on cruise ships.
A retailer should not, Carbone said, concentrate on one area of customer service while ignoring another because the friendliness of a store clerk can be negated by a dirty dressing room.
A reader from Georgia thinks that one way retailers can tell customers they care is by maintaining clean restrooms and providing, at least for the women, seat covers. I concur.
Experience Engineering, according to its Web site, helps clients create and manage the kinds of experiences their customers will tell other people about and come back for again and again.
Information on the Retailing Summit was published in the Fall 2007 issue of “Retailing News,” the newsletter of Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies.