Numerous marketing experts claim that kitchen and bath showrooms must deliver compelling, engaging and memorable customer experiences to stand out and become a destination of choice. If your skill set is limited to taking orders, how do you differentiate on anything other than price?
Most brick-and-mortar retailers, inside and outside of the kitchen and bath world, pay only lip service to customer service. They don’t treat their clientele as valued customers. Some brick-and-mortar showroom sales professionals run from customers looking for cabinet knobs. When they do, they send the message buy these online because we don’t want to deal with you. What they fail to realize that a cabinet knob replacement provides an opportunity to update the kitchen faucet, kitchen sink and accessories, not to mention the possibility of replacing cabinets and countertops to match. And, yes, there are times when the cabinet knob replacement is only a cabinet knob replacement. If someone comes to your showroom only to buy cabinet knobs, should they be treated differently than the customer looking to redo their kitchen?
Delivering a compelling customer experience is about mindset and commitment. How do you make customers feel special? Does your sales and design team look at them as customers, clients or pains in the backside? If you want to make customers feel special, don’t consider them customers. Instead, teach your sales team to view and treat customers as guests, similar to how you would treat friends that you invite into your home for dinner. When guests walk into your showroom, your team should be happy to see them and work to make their experience memorable.
A distinctive competency that most showrooms have over their competitors is the ability to know what showroom guests need before they know or could even find out. Despite having spent months researching their projects, most homeowners have no clue of where to start the kitchen renovation process. Demonstrate the value your team brings to showroom guests by identifying and satisfying customer needs that they don’t even know they have.
It costs nothing to be nice.
Every person who enters the showroom, even the ones that are showrooming should be treated with respect. Every showroom customer should be viewed and treated like a VIP.
Learn to look at every mistake as an opportunity to shine and turn lemons into lemonade. Everyone realizes that “stuff happens.” It’s how you deal with the stuff that happens that distinguishes companies committed to compelling customer experiences and those that are not. Showroom customers that encounter problems with their projects, don’t care who’s at fault. They could not care less if the plumber installed it incorrectly. They don’t want to hear about supply chain shortcomings, manufacturer mishaps or any other reason. They want resolution immediately. Delivering compelling customer experiences requires solving problems regardless of responsibility for them.