At your next staff meeting, ask your team to describe the best customer experiences they recently have had and then vote on the one experience that your team believes was best overall.
How many businesses, kitchen and bath showrooms and design build companies claim that they are quality-oriented? Who goes to work believing today I am going to be mediocre? How many businesses would claim that they stink less than the competition? Most likely, not too many, but the fact is that most companies might talk the talk, but few walk the walk. They don’t offer a quality product or service despite claims to the contrary. That’s why when a company goes above and beyond, surprises and delights us, they stand out. They become remarkable because we want to tell others what they did and why it was special.
When Hermes and Louis Vuitton first started in business, they made tools. When customers wanted a new suitcase or saddle, Hermes and Vuitton offered extraordinary products that combined impeccable functionality with unmatched performance. As time passed, Hermes and Vuitton no longer competed with other brands based on functionality. They competed on luxury or an entirely different value proposition than the optimal design of a tool.
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.