I put buying furniture right up there with haggling over the purchase price of a car. Something about furniture sales people gets me on edge, the way they’re on you right away, acting like they know what you need, and steering you to expensive choices that you can easily afford on their convenient no-payment-no-interest-until-2012 deals. I recently found myself in a position to buy a few things. Here’s how one store transformed me from reluctant shopper to loyal referrer.
Give Me Cookies & Maxipads
Everybody likes chocolate cookies. At least my kids really do. The first thing the sales woman at my new favorite store did was take care of my kids. You could be cynical and think that she only showed my kids the TV (complete with remote control and DVDs) to get them out of the way and therefore freeing me up to shop. Yeah, so? That’s exactly what I was there for. She found out what was important to me and served my needs. Realtors are taught to carry maxi pads and diapers in the trunk. People have needs is what I’m saying.
Give Me Coffee
It didn’t take long for my new favorite sales woman to figure out that I like to talk. After my kids were sufficiently engaged with Spongebob, she showed me to the coffee (complete with flavored creamers thank you very much) and we had us a little talk. She told me all about the store, which was a family business, her role there, as well as all the services they provided. She even shared got a little personal. She was a pro at reading me, and to her credit was able to build rapport even up against my leave-me-alone-I’m-outta-here-in-ten-minutes attitude.
Give Me the Floor
When it was time to look at some furniture, this customer service pro did something amazing – she listened! Lest you think I got all this great service because I walked in looking all money, let me clear that up. This was after a post-season kids hockey party. I showed up in a frosting stained shirt smelling of chlorine and cheap pizza. When I explained that the furniture was primarily for a kids’ room, she led me straight to the ‘affordable’ section. Then she went out of her way to offer me more money saving tips.
I am now a loyal customer. There’s just no need for me to shop anywhere else – ever. I can’t shut up about it. I know they say the complainers talk more, but when I like something I can’t stop talking about it. I’m irrationally exuberant for service. It’s all about service, during good times and bad.
What do you do that merits irrational exuberance?