Deliver the Customer Experience that Makes You a Destination of Choice

BKBG Business Blog,

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 kitchen and bath sales professionals run from customers looking only for cabinet knobs.  When they do, they send the message, buy them somewhere else because we don’t want to deal with you.  What they fail to realize is that a cabinet knob replacement provides an opportunity to update the kitchen faucet, kitchen sink and accessories, not to mention the possibility of redoing the entire kitchen.  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 ktichen?   

Delivering a compelling customer experience is about mindset and commitment.  How do you make customers feel special?  Do you look at them as customers, clients or pains in the backside?  To make customers feel special, don’t view them as 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 or longer researching projects, most showroom customers don’t know where to begin or what they really need.  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 cost shopping should be treated with respect.  Every showroom customer should be viewed and treated like a VIP. 

Jack Mitchell wrote in his ground-breaking book Hug Your Customers to view mistakes as opportunities 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 the products that they purchase from your showroom, don’t care who’s at fault.  They could not care less if the manufacturer shipped the wrong cabinet.  They don’t want to hear that the installer did not do his job or it's the manufacturer’s problem to deal with.  They want resolution immediately.  Delivering compelling customer experiences requires solving problems regardless of who is responsible for them.