My wife and I recently spent a week taking a 1300 mile odyssey touring on vacation. Driving this amount of distance we passed a great number of flooring stores. Several days into our trip, I asked over lunch what stores she had seen that impressed her. The sad reality is that she could only remember two or three in any detail. After a while, I asked her what her general impression was in one word. That word was: BORING!
When opening my mail this morning, I received a reminder that is worth sharing. I received a hand written note of appreciation from an acquaintance. It was 41 words on a 4 x6 inch card. It likely took one minute to write and cost 44 cents to mail. Not much time and not much money – yet it meant a great deal to me.
The news from the auto industry in Detroit is better lately. While there are a myriad of factors accounting for this reversal of fortune, I think that there is one resounding lesson that flooring dealers can learn from: duplicity and product sameness are both costly and confusing.
Look at the brand reduction that has taken place in the past few years. Does anyone really miss Plymouth? How about Mercury? Do you know anyone that is now without an automobile since they discontinued Oldsmobile? Of course you don’t. The Buick that they likely replaced it with is quite similar anyway.
Keeping customer care as the core of your business
I believe two basic truths about improving the experiences that our customers have when shopping our stores. First, before you can be a good customer care provider, you must first learn to be an aware customer service receiver. And secondly, we mostly learn from observing other industries. We typically know what’s going on in our world. How do we grow from what we already know?