Simple interactions can create life-long customers

I moved to Colorado from Massachusetts just a few weeks ago and am in need of everything: furniture, supermarket, coffee shop, hairdresser, vet for my dog, car repair shop, restaurants to hang out at, shops to buy my clothing.  While the product relevance is obviously a factor, I am essentially a potential new lifelong customer everywhere I go. 

Being new in the city, one of the most critical determining factors in whether I will return or not is customer engagement on a personal level.  This is not defined by the ordinary, “can I help you,” “are you looking for anything in particular,” or “can I tell you about our specials today.” 

No, certain interactions are special because they are authentic and not just molded around nailing a sale.  For example:

I went to Sephora and when I encountered a saleswoman and asked her to help me find something, she exclaimed, “I love that serum, too!” A conversation naturally followed about all the cosmetic products we both liked, which led to my sharing the fact that I had just moved from a humid climate to a dry one, which led to….me wanting to return.  This woman’s excitement over her job made my search for one of my critical cosmetics fun.

My favorite yoga studio in town, Om Time, sells this incredible organic spearmint lip balm with SPF.  Every time I have visited Boulder in the past, I would stock up with enough until my next trip.  I stopped in there after I relocated looking for a gift and, of course, lip balm.  I ended up in such a wonderful conversation with one of the proprietors that I left without the lip balm.  A few days later I returned and he was working again.  I told him I had been so involved in conversation with him I forgot to get my favorite lip balm!  I picked up two and he told me I could just take them.  Really? Yes, just take them.  Welcome to Boulder.

I headed to Lowe’s in Louisville to check out some gardening supplies and because of the attentive sales staff and their patience, walked out with a new grill, patio furniture and countless other items.  Two salesmen made sure I didn’t have too much to carry, smiled at my indecision, helped load my car, and asked questions about how I was adjusting to my recent move. I had intended to spend about $75 on minor items and instead spent about $850.  The drive was well worth the incredible customer service.

Not every retail experience has been as delightful, and many have been less than memorable.  But I can assure you, the ones that get me at hello, will be seeing much more of me.

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