Nordstrom is known for its exceptional customer service and does not deny publicly that it once took back a set of tires from a customer who was dissatisfied with the purchase even though Nordstrom does not sell tires. The story is not true, but that’s not the point. It speaks to the Nordstrom brand. Similar to other brick and mortar department stores, Nordstrom is challenged by a paradigm shift in the way consumers shop. In response, Nordstrom is constantly tweaking its business model to maintain its relevancy to its customer base and to provide more compelling customer experiences.
Michael Lewis has penned numerous best-selling books, including The Big Short, Flash Boys and Moneyball. In a recent interview with University of Pennsylvania Professor Adam Grant, also a best-selling author, Lewis shared several keys to exceptional story telling that can help kitchen and bath showroom professionals better connect with their clients and prospects.
Negotiating is a fact of life. Imagine how successful you could be with a no-fail negotiation technique. One of the nation’s premier negotiation trainers, The Black Swan Group, has a tip it says is almost always successful regardless of industry or context: To get to yes, eliminate the negatives up front.
If you asked your customers what is it that you actually do, what would they say? If you believe that you provide kitchen design and renovation services, most likely you would be taking a very narrow view of your customer’s perspective. Some may believe that you come to my home, destroy it, leaving me without a place to cook or eat for longer than expected. Others may perceive your services will help create more quality family time, make meal preparation easier and more enjoyable and reduce stress.
When someone comes to your showroom unexpectedly, how you approach, greet and interact could be the difference between landing a new customer or watching them walk out the door. Idle chit chat most likely will not land you a new customer. When you approach don’t ask, “How are you doing?,” because the prospective customer most likely figures you couldn’t care less how he or she is doing. A much better approach is to say, “Welcome to our showroom. Please feel free to wander around. If you don’t mind, I’ll check back with you in a few minutes to answer any questions you may have.”
Have you noticed that customers will readily drop $20,000 on a new refrigerator for their kitchen renovation but balk at spending $500 on a new faucet. The fact that they may be without a place to cook for two months does not seem to bother them as much as a $200 change order. If you examined the things that drive your customers crazy, chances are they are not big picture items. Instead, it’s the small, pesky inconveniences that send them off the deep end.
Career, community and cause are the three primary motivators that motivate the 21st century workforce to perform at their bests, concluded a study by Facebook of its team members.
Career relates to a place of employment that provides team members autonomy, enabling staff to use their strengths and provide them opportunities to learn and develop professionally.
How do you make your showroom a place where people really want to work instead of a place to earn a living? According to the author of The Employee Experience Advantage Jacob Morgan, becoming a go-to employment destination requires providing superior cultural, technological and physical employee experiences. Morgan found that companies that made the largest investment in employee experiences showed up 28 times more among Fast Company magazine’s most innovative companies list and 11.5 times as often in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Experiential organizations also had four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue of companies that did not make similar investments. They were also 25 percent smaller, suggesting they are more productive and innovative.
Many BKBG Shareholders complain about the Internet. They believe that the reason most customers don’t buy from their showroom is because their customers can buy for less someplace else. Sales Guru Bob Phelps argues that a lost sale is never about price or the product. A sale is lost because the sales professionals do not allay buyers’ fears. Phelps argues, “When you can remove risk or regret, your shopper is likely to buy.”
Finding and retaining top talent remains one of the greatest challenges in the kitchen and bath showroom business. BKBG members may be able to greatly increase their recruitment and retention rates by framing the services that they provide to clients in a different light. A kitchen and bath showroom does so much more than build new spaces in homes. BKBG members help to improve quality of life for their clients. They make a positive difference, providing endless opportunities for family members to better connect with one another and build stronger relationships with neighbors and friends.