The question of what customers really want, is something I ask myself daily. When your entire livelihood is dependent firstly on people walking through your door and secondly on them making a purchase, it is imperative to our survival that we meet those needs. These are merely my thoughts on the topic!
There are two aspects to meeting customers needs that need addressing. Firstly, you have to have something they want. Secondly, you have to provide service. We change our stock often to meet demand, we try to keep our stock fresh and interesting, as well as maintaining some core lines. We also try to provide service.
Customer service is part of what sets one shop apart from another. We try hard to remember all of our customers and what they like or are interested in. Many of our regular customers like to come in and have help selecting appropriate gifts. If they tell me who they are buying for (age & sex) then I can show them a range of suitable gifts across a variety of price ranges. Most things we sell have a story, which can also help in the selection especially if it is locally made.
A trend I am noticing is that although there are always people browsing and wanting to be left alone, more and more customers want help. There is so much to see in the shop is can be easy to overlook suitable gifts. Helping people find 3 or 4 options in their price range also helps them to feel confident they are making a good choice.
Customers also want to feel that they are getting quality for the price they are paying. I try very hard to choose the best quality for the best prices, we want to be as competitive as we can be…
I also feel that we are very fortunate to have a shop of different rooms, which enables us to style them all a little differently. We have quite an eclectic mix in the shop and try to be as different as we can be in our look compared to other retailers. We are also extremely fortunate to have our place of business in an old house. Customers frequently come in and tell me what a wonderful feel there is in the shop – we think it’s because the shop has a soul… from the love it had from people living in it. All of this helps us to be memorable and hopefully bring customers back.
Customers are people – they want to be remembered. Remembering names and conversations is important. If they have come back into the shop I try hard to make them feel welcomed and remembered. I am always grateful for their visit and want them to feel special.
We appreciate all of our customers, many who have become good friends. If there is ever anything you want and I don’t have it.. let me know and I will try to get it for you. Most importantly thank you for your support.