In the new world of online shopping, I believe and practice the old world experience of customer service.
Growing up in the south, you learn that hospitality is a virtue never to be taken for granted, and I have extended that to my business practice.
I always greet customers (new and returning) at the door. You won’t make it past the counter before seeing a friendly face and receiving a “what’s up?” I even arranged my work desk and the layout of the store so that I never miss anyone. After the initial greeting I like to offer customers free water and whiskey. It takes time to get to know someone and I can’t think of a better way to loosen up a conversation than over food and drink (I regularly go out to lunch with customers).
Plus, it’s always a good gesture to show your willingness as a business owner to provide something more than your product to your customer: that’s what relationships are built on, the giving of the unexpected. And I’m genuinely interested in their lives—everything from their career to their kid’s favorite color (you’d be surprised at a child’s influence on the clothes you feel good in). Unless the customer is in a rush, I like to take things at a natural, and at a leisurely pace.
We walk around the store and I tell them about the origin of the fabric, the countless tweaks I’ve made to the denim, and everything else. It is usually a good while before I get their measurements. So what is good customer service? It’s about loving people, taking a bonafide interest in their lives. Rarely do I think about simply selling a product, rather it’s using the clothes and other products to get to know someone deeper. That’s the old world model shopping experience. That’s what makes a difference in people’s lives.
If it was just about the clothes, life would be pretty miserable, am I right?