Monthly Archives: July 2009

Simply common sense

Scan of cover of Common Sense, the pamphlet. N...

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It is my belief that good old fashioned common sense is always the way to go with….well….life, but for the purposes of this blog site, I’ll say that common sense is a good point of reference for great customer service and entrepreneurs who want to their businesses to thrive.  The challenge however, is that common sense appears to be less and less common.  What happened? Where did it go?  How can we get it back?

I am a sales and management consultant as well as a business & life coach. My business clients include individuals and groups who are frustrated with the status quo and would like to improve their businesses by way of exceptional customer care with a common sense approach. They have found that by focusing on customer care, their  sales and repeat business are maximized, their team members thrive and every aspect of their own lives improves as a result.  They have figured out how to connect the dots.

A large part of my experience  (over 25 years) has been in the retail furniture sales and management world.  I have been fortunate to work with companies who have had the common sense to develop, understand and act upon values  such as happy customers, teamwork and honest communication, just to name an important  few.  These companies had the wherewithal to realize that retaining good team members wasn’t just about money. It’s about making your team feel included and engaged.    Not only was it about including the staff…inclusion was also about the customers.

Makes sense to me.

This common sense approach, in fact, enabled them to thrive  during difficult economic times.

You can too.

In this blog site, I include real life customer experiences giving you the scenario…just the facts … and give you the opportunity to point out where common sense was used or perhaps, the opportunities for common sense to be applied.  They will be featured on the home post page under the title: Messages. Feel free to use this blog site as a complimentary interactive training/coaching tool for your business. And….feel free to let me know the challenges you may be encountering today.  I’d love to look at them with you and develop a strategy that WORKS for YOU!

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Messages

It was the Saturday before Mother’s Day. The weather was cooperating (after what seemed  like 2 weeks of non stop rain) with a slight breeze and plenty of sunshine.  The Farmers’ Markets were in full swing (I went to two!) and casually dressed folks just seemed genuinely happy to be out and about enjoying it all and each other.

I decided to drop in to some of the independently owned boutiques in the quaint small town where I just moved.  I have seen these shops on my early morning walks and have been curious about them…specifically in how they are surviving during this particularly challenging economic time.

The first shop I walked into was a women’s clothing boutique. The door was fun…painted in a bright solid color and the window was decorated to show the variety of items inside from unique jewelry and dresses to fun cards that mentioned something about being more cool than your daughter thinks you are to t-shirts sporting martini or wine glasses as the design.   I noticed a woman (who I assumed was the shop owner)  standing behind the counter chatting with whom, I assumed, was a local customer.

There were about 5 women of ALL ages (early 20s to mid 70s) in this very hip and pricey store. I saw a variety of several items that caught my attention. I lifted them off their racks/displays and walked over to the mirror to put them up to me.  I was probably in the store for 20 to 30 minutes.  The shop owner did not acknowledge me. I walked out and went inside the boutique two doors down.

If you are a business owner, manager or team member who is looking for ways to increase your customer base, I invite you to critique this shop and honestly assess your own business from your objective view of this shopping experience.
What are the messages this shop is sending?
If this were your shop, what would you have done different?
What would good customer service have looked like?