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Last week I was walking through the mall and noticed the Sale signs posted on the windows at the Ann Taylor store. Haven’t shopped there in a long time, but it caught my attention and I had some time, so I walked in.

It was busy and there were a lot of customers in the store, I browsed through the racks on my own and chose a few items to try on. As I was back in the dressing room, a sales rep greeted me, asked my name, and introduced herself. She said to please let her know if I needed additional sizes or assistance and she would be happy to go out to get them or if I had any questions, to ask. She advised me on how to wash the jeans and that I should buy a size smaller as they would stretch. She encouraged me to think of what I already had at home and would the items I was trying on have anything to go with them? At the end, we went through the four items (all on sale) and she then suggested I put back the blouse that I mentioned I had a similar one in my closet. Her thought: you don’t want to drive all the way back here to return it and you’ll be upset you bought something so close to what you already have.

By the end of the experience, I felt like I had met a trusted friend. She called a week later and asked about each one of the items I had purchased and if I had worn them yet. Our conversation was short, but she acted as if she sincerely cared that I had been pleased with my purchases. At the end, she mentioned they would be having another sale soon and that if I wanted her to call and remind me she would, but if not, she would not bother me.

This is great customer service. Almost any kind of business could do these things. Paying attention to the details is what turns an ordinary experience into an extra-ordinary experience. Personal, sincere, follow through and relationship-building is what makes the difference.

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