Given the overwhelming amount of information that consumers receive daily, branding has become more important than ever to avoid getting lost in a sea of sameness. However, branding continues to be a dynamic discipline that is constantly changing and requires showrooms to shift strategies in order to build trusting and meaningful relationships with clients, customers and key constituencies.
Despite widespread media coverage of supply chain challenges, there are more than a few customers that don’t like to hear that you can’t deliver cabinets or other materials within their preferred timeframe. Many BKBG showrooms have received calls from angry customers who are not pleased with continual product shipping delays that have put their dreams of a new kitchen or bath on hold. What’s the best way to respond to these angry customers?
Trying to be all things to all potential customers is counterproductive. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality. That’s one of the lessons several BKBG Shareholders have learned by going to appointment only showrooms. Making customers make an appointment to speak to a salesperson or designer helps to eliminate tire kickers and those whose only concern is price. Requiring prospects to make appointments also enables your sales team to personalize interactions.
Acclaimed author and noted retail anthropologist Doug Stevens has written that Amazon is the quickest way from wanting to getting. That being said, there’s not much that is particularly enjoyable or mentally gratifying using three clicks of a mouse to get stuff that you need. It’s cold and impersonal. That’s why many native online etailers are creating brick and mortar presences including Amazon, Warby Parker, Bonobos, UNTUCKit, Caspar and many others.
There are many good reasons why social media is the primary medium businesses use to promote their offerings. More than 70% of people who have a positive social media experience with a showroom will tell friends and family about the brand. Social media is viewed as more credible, because it provides opportunities to become part of your customers’ lives by providing content that is meaningful to them even if some of that content is promotional.
Most everyone has been told that when you assume you make an ass out of you and me. Yet, in our day-to-day activities, do we take things for granted and assume the reasons why you have won a bid or a contract? Rick Reynolds, writing in Sales & Marketing Management identifies six assumptions that can be disastrous.
Current business volume, challenges and stresses continue to blur the lines between work and play. If you asked members of your team or even yourself, are you taking sufficient time to decompress, what would you or they say? If the answer is no, then you may want to consider silence as a means to refocus and recharge. According to Vijay Eswaran, author of In The Sphere of Silence, silence allows you to channel your energy, gives the clarity to face challenges and uncertainty and declutter your thought processes.
Changing someone’s mind is one of the most difficult tasks for showroom owners, sales professionals, designers and just about anyone else. Everyone wants to convince others to see it their way. Showroom sales professionals and designers want to convince prospects that their showroom and skill set is the perfect combination for their new dream kitchen or bath. BKBG Preferred Vendor partners typically want to convince showroom owners to change their lines and select their product and services from their current suppliers. Small children want to change their parents’ minds so they can eat more sweets or watch more television. In politics, one side always wants to convince the other side that their position is the right one.
Every Shareholder we talk to has the world-class problem of being overwhelmed with demand. When you are literally running like a headless chicken, it’s challenging to step back, take a deep breath and consistently provide customer experiences and interactions that positively reflects your brand. Former BKBG Conference workshop leader, the retail doctor, Bob Phibbs offers the following quick suggestions to better communicate and connect with prospects and customers.
Plotting a showroom’s customer journey is a highly effective tool to build trust, enhance your brand’s image and create raving fans. Plotting your customers’ journeys documents how a showroom customer interacts with your brand in every step of their purchase from initial research online to the final sign off after the punch list is satisfied. Businesses that plot their customers’ journeys are twice as likely to outperform competitors, according to Gartner, a global research and advisory company.