A 23% premium - Human Experience

I’m one of those people who starts Christmas shopping in November.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, I’m not alone, with 71% of consumers recently surveyed saying they will start Christmas shopping before December.

So this past Saturday, armed with our Christmas list and a shopping plan (sorted by store) we hit Bondi Junction Westfield at opening time, store by store:
• JD Sports
• Nike
• Bonds
• Lululemon
• Haig’s
• Myer
• Good Games
• Witchery
• Saba

When we wrapped up our shopping expedition, I turned to my wife and said “You know, I think we may have just had the best retail customer experience day ever. Every single encounter was excellent.” My wife thought about it for a second and she said, “You’re right, it was really great service at every store today.”

JD Sports, Bonds, and Good Games were a beautiful balance of being both super-efficient and friendly. In all three stores, we experienced smooth encounters and a great example of well-executed time and motion from a customer experience point of view. When processing my sale at JD Sports, I loved how the staff member checked both shoes in the shoebox were the correct shoes in the correct size – just to be sure I was walking out of the store with the shoes I wanted.

And of course, there’s Haig’s Chocolates, who do a brilliant job of engaging with their customers. Without fail, every time I’ve been to the store, every customer is offered a complimentary tasting when making a purchase. It’s a beautiful touch that (seemingly) no matter how much you spend, you’re offered a taste of one of their amazing chocolates.

Nike had an offer of 30% off for their Nike members over the weekend and as a Nike family, this was a compulsory store visit. The staff member who served us was more than happy to help with all our enquiries (checking for the different sizes we were after) and was crystal clear on the promotion and did a great job of making us think about other ways we could leverage the offer over the weekend.

At Myer, we took our items to the only register we could see open at the time – where there was a young man helping people try on shoes. I could not see any other staff near the register and witnessing him being busy, I thought we might be waiting a while. He acknowledged us immediately and turned to the customer trying on the shoes “I’ll let you try those shoes on, I’ll help these customers and I’ll be straight back.” He greeted us warmly and rang up our items. He pointed out that the brand of shirts we were buying had a habit of setting off the security alarm (despite the security tags being removed), so he told us not to worry if the alarm went off as we left and reassured us, that he had removed the security tags. He was efficient and warm, thriving as he moved between customers and meeting everyone’s needs – it’s probably the best Department store service I’ve ever had.

And then to wrap up our awesome service experience day, there was Lululemon, Witchery and Saba. I’m a huge fan of Lululemon and Witchery – they are two of my go-to brands that I love for both the quality of their clothes and the outstanding service I always receive (see my blog post from February). I’m pleased to report, that Lululemon and Witchery nailed the service experience once again on Saturday. Then there was Saba. Saba is not a brand I’ve purchased from before, but I went in hoping to find a certain style of garment. Like Myer, there was only one staff member rostered on, but she was brilliant. She bounced between customers, found different sizes, colours and styles and checked in on people in the changerooms regularly. She was helpful, cheerful and informative and got me signed up as a member (which I rarely say yes to). The introduction she gave me to the brand was flawless and I will definitely be going back!

Efficient, friendly, engaging, helpful, knowledgeable, responsive, and informative.

I don’t love to go retail shopping but on Saturday, it was a joy to go retail shopping.

In every single example, it was an incredibly positive brand experience. I want to go back to these stores. I will go back to these stores. I will purchase from these stores again.

As reported in the Gallup Business Journal ‘Why Customer Engagement Matters so much’, a fully engaged customer represents a 23% premium in terms of revenue and profit (in comparison to the average customer).

I am a fully engaged customer with all nine of these brands and I have absolutely no doubt that I will represent a 23% premium.

There is no denying that the current economic climate is making it tough for retailers but if these nine retailers keep repeating these kinds of experiences consistently, then I have no doubt they will weather this storm by maximising the number of customers who represent a 23% premium.

Nic McClanachan, November 2023

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