A blog series on Shopper Marketing

By Cyndi Pyburn

UGH.  Remember last year I wrote about “Is the Customer Smarter”, highlighting my experience purchasing a big screen TV.  Well guess what?  One year into full cinematic joy, our Sony TV broke.  I mean it blew up in front of us.

I contacted Best Buy, where we purchased it and fortunately still under warranty, the Geek Squad was at my service.  Yay!  Problem is they work Monday to Friday 8 to 5 pm.  They can’t tell you if they will arrive in the morning or the afternoon.  So, lucky for me, I can work from home.  But many can’t.  Retailers must focus on removing hurdles from the shopper service experience.  I would much rather have barriers to great service removed than be offered a plethora of extra incentives.

The steady diet of new technology means that today’s hot devices most often feed into digital ecosystems that actually bypass Best Buy completely.  Secondly, online competitors such as Amazon and retail store competitors such as Wal-Mart have cut into sales of electronics in Canada.  A better shopping & service experience would help Best Buy given very difficult operating circumstances and potential massive layoffs.

I often wonder why customer service and in turn, positive experiences are so hard to get right.  The main hurdle is translating boardroom vision into action at the front line.  Only by ensuring that every interaction is geared to delighting customers, can an emotional connection be made and solidified.  And that my friends, takes more than the latest and hottest products.  Creating great customer experience comes down to having great people that feel appreciated, engaged and committed to the corporate vision.

Tapping into the creativity of the frontline demonstrates trust.  Giving frontline employees responsibility and autonomy inspires them to do whatever they can to improve the experience for their customers.  Giving employees purpose, not rules, motivates them and gives meaning to their work.  They choose to go the extra mile through passion, not compliance.