Best-selling author and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman stated that average is no longer good enough to compete in today’s economy. Friedman noted that for most of the 20th century, average Americans with average skill sets could earn an above average income doing average work. “That’s gone,” Friedman avowed. It’s a challenge for the American economy and for every kitchen and bath showroom. You can’t be average. You can’t have a showroom that looks and behaves like any other retail operation. Your staff can’t be average either, because customers expect more.
Competitive differentiation requires showrooms to wow their customers. Not just once in a while, but regularly. When customers walk into your showroom their expectations are sky high. They have seen many of the products and vignettes you display online and through other research efforts. They need reasons to buy from you. Do you have them? What do you need to do to redefine the customer experience and constantly deliver moments of wow? Look at what Zappos did for buying shoes or Warby Parker did for buying eyeglasses. They redefined the customer experience. Zappos offered an easy button. Whatever pair of shoes that you wanted, they could provide in a day or two. If customers changed their minds, they could send the shoes back at no charge. If customers wanted to talk to someone in customer service, no problem. Every time you called Zappos, you spoke to a real live person who is encouraged to engage and make sure that you are completely satisfied.
Warby Parker took a page out of Zappos’ playbook. The company will send five sets of eyeglass frames to customers to “try out.” The frames customers don’t want can be returned at a brick and mortar store on via mail at no charge.
There is tremendous opportunity to be different and to create consistent moments of wow. What are you doing to redefine your customer experiences?