Those of you in the business of gift giving or producing, in retail or online, can take a breath- The craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has come and gone. But catch it quickly, for the parade of holiday shoppers will shortly begin funneling in. There will be Happy Hollys, Scourging Scrooges, Bargaining Bettys, and candy-cane-chucking children. Amidst it all you must be the Santa Claus, spreading cheer and bearing the gift of customer satisfaction.
Be sure to wrap every last purchase with a perfect bow (and confirmation email!) and send them on their way with heightened holiday cheer. To do so, think of every customer interaction as a relationship and invoke those principles you have used in the dating realm.
1. You hate the way he dresses, and you know he has better options than that wrinkled polo. Why is his email firstname.lastname@example.org? What do you do? You suggest, you don’t insist. You focus on him as a person, not how embarrassed you are for him. Be helpful, not pushy. As customers shop around, act as their search bar to guide them to the products on their list. Be aware, though, that some customers are just “lookin’ around” and don’t need you to hover, push, or fill their inbox. However if you notice a cart filling up slowly or see a customer’s arms wrapped around clothing with dangling hangers, they would indeed like some assistance.
2. At the start of any relationship, you want to show your potential significant other that you’re interested. Cute texts like “can’t wait to see you” before a date are sure to get through to him/her, but a text like “OMG BABE BEYOND EXCITED!!!!” may have him/her fearing that you’ll have your kids’ names picked out by the end of the night. Be cheerful, but not pom-poms in your face exhilarated. As customers are browsing through your rolodexes or racks, suggest items they may want to see, perhaps with a pop-up of this season’s hottest hat or by guiding them to the dark horse in the shoe section. Do not follow their every move, suggesting what will complement the tie perfectly when they have merely checked the sizes for a sports jacket. Be kind and patient, bop to the beat of holiday tunes if necessary, but don’t explode with confetti in customer’s faces or desktops, or you’ll be left cleaning up the mess.
3. She’s cranky, he’s cranky. He had a bad day and so did you—you need one another to bring a smile to the face that has had chronic eyebrow scrunching all day long. Be considerate, even though you’re rueing the holiday season too. Although it is nearly sinful to be a Scrooge during the holiday season, customers will be stressed, frustrated, or simply over it, even though their holiday shopping has just begun. Although you may have been climbing shelves to reach the latest Barbie Dream House, or uploading that JPEG of that clutch that simply wouldn’t load correctly, they may have been sitting at a travel agency all day planning trips for others, wishing they could be escaping to some island, taking the risk of crossing the Bermuda Triangle. Rather than allowing misery some company, be bright and helpful to create a lasting impression of your marketplace.
4. Although it may be easier to allow her to make all the date plans, soon enough she will undoubtedly become frustrated that you don’t care enough to pick the place. Don’t mock the mannequins, show a little motivation. Don’t be passive, remind them that they’ve had those boots on their wishlist for a month now. It will be better for both of you if the customer leaves or logs out satisfied with their product.
With every purchase no matter how big or small, difficult or simple, be jolly for the holiday bonus of customer loyalty and keep them coming back next season.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out our Top 5 Indie Fashion Blogs list.
By Michelle Foti