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?

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"It is my sincerest pleasure to recommend Lee Beaven as your life or business coach! A few years ago, my wife, Chris, and I were at crossroads in our careers. In my case, I was a retired Naval Officer and had been teaching for a few years under the “Troops to Teachers” Program. Lee helped me focus on what I really wanted to do in the education arena. With her good listening and well-reasoned coaching, I entered into a doctoral program in educational leadership at the University of Virginia, and in a very short time, received an educational leadership (School Principal) endorsement from the State of Virginia. Within a year, I was an Associate Principal and Vocational Director of a Virginia High School! Without her help, I would have floundered and possibly never reached my career goals in education. Best of all, she helped me uncover a buried passion to become a Park Ranger. She not only helped me uncover this desire, she encouraged me to dust it off, shine it up and put it in the forefront. After 7 years, I left the education field to pursue my dream of becoming a Park Ranger. With the principles that I learned from Sarah Lee Beaven, I’ve been able to continually set clear and attainable goals related to my career, education, family, health, recreation, spirituality and even finances. Thank you, Lee, you’ve been a major influence in my life!!! I’m sure, Chris will say the same!!!" ~ F. T. Matthies, Retired Park Ranger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, VA. Beach, VA
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