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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