I’m starting to feel like the commercials featuring Mr. Obvious with my recent posts. But all of these are worth a second or two of thought and how our businesses do or don’t apply. Many of you probably know this, but when you begin work at Nordstrom, they have an entire training program focused on saying “thank you” to customers. Ever notice how after you purchase something, they bag it, walk around the counter to greet you face-to-face, shake your hand and thank you for shopping with them? How many people do you think notice that? Enough that Nordstrom felt it necessary to train employees this valuable habit. More importantly, it’s part of their culture.
God is in the details. And the companies who embrace this as part of their culture and business regimen win. Especially these days of zero eye-contact, people constantly falling short of expectations, and most often, not even a $#@! “thank you for shopping with us!” Think about how often that happens. Too often. In fact, I’ll share some personal habits of mine when it happens to me. I stay right where I am and stare at them to force eye-contact. Odd? Maybe. But when they look up, they act shocked that I am still there. And I look at them and say, “anything else you’d like to say?” Deer in headlights. I smile, and I tell them a simple thank you for taking my money goes a long way, and I tell them to remember that.
As I walk out, they probably think to themselves “what an old jerk I am, with so little going on in my life, I stand and criticize others.” Yes, branding is that important to me, I’ll take the arrows. Some actually say thanks for pointing that out. But that too is rare. So…why do I go on about this obvious courtesy? Because “it matters.” Brush up your employees, tell them the value of creating a solid relationship with customers, starting with a simple thank you. When you do, they tell friends, they come back, they keep buying. Pretty simple stuff.
Oh, and as for Nordstrom…they also have a class on improving your ability to remember names. Go to the store more than once in the same department and watch how you will be welcomed back by name.