Consider the Customer

by · January 2, 20149 comments

When you get your New Year’s resolutions dialed for 2014 as a brand marketer, could you add: “Consider the customer” to your list? I say this because in the racing effort to convert people into sales, we are forgetting the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. And this goes for customers too. Because if you don’t, someone else will and your customers will follow.

This was brought to life for me over the holidays when I had the pleasure (no sarcasm AT ALL!) of visiting several GameStops in the quest for gifts. What was once an intimidating activity is now truly a pleasurable experience and it was all because they considered the customer. They have won my business for this very reason and trust me I could buy video games anywhere!

Smiling’s my favorite!

GamestopWhat went so well you might ask? Well, it started with every single person working in the store was smiling. They were genuinely interested in helping me when I was ready to be helped. This was not an isolated incident. Over the holidays, I had the opportunity to visit 4 different Gamestops. And each of these outlets were in wildly different socioeconomic areas. All staffed with super helpful, truly nice people. Like so nice and pleasant that your kid comments on how nice the people are who work at Gamestop. Even when they don’t have his game! They are completely focused on the experience and making it a good one.

The experience wasn’t always this way, Gamestop used to intimidate me. The team they had were experts at gaming. And if you know me at all, you know my expertise ended at Space Invaders, maybe Sonic. Maybe. But, my family is skilled, so, I am a video game buyer. And back in the day, I would have an idea of what my husband might want and go in and ask, and leave more confused than when I entered and without a gift.

Adjust to your shoppers

So my experience this last week (and honestly over the course of the last few years) was so jarring, I had to ask if they had changed their recruiting and hiring. The staffer admitted that they had in fact changed what they were looking for in teammates. They focus is more on hiring personable people who can help customers make decisions. She mentioned that they realized that mom and dad are doing a lot of spending and really started catering to mom and dad and their needs and habits. Mom and dad don’t need a history lesson of Myst, they need to know which Skylander is the most current. Don’t get me wrong; these people know their games! If you have questions, they can totally hook you up. But the business took a look at their customers and tried to understand who was spending the money in the store and tweaked the experience to one that is hyper helpful. And it was all because they considered the customer.

For example, when they didn’t have something, they not only checked the computer, they actually called the other stores to make sure if it was, in fact, in stock. They offered to order it and have it shipped for free. But, we wanted it today and on our way to the fourth and final store, we drove past several other competing big box retailers that probably had the game, but I continued to this store because they made a focused effort to make it about me. I love when it is about me!

Tie it all together

The kicker and the one that blew my digital mind, was on the way to the last store, I pulled out my phone and reserved the desired game for pick up in a store that was less than 10 minutes away. And you know what, it worked! The game was already behind the register ready for me. Their systems were talking in real time and the team was on top of it. They even showed me their POS experience because I was so blown away. Of course it should work, but it is a delight when it actually does!

So as you ring in the New Year, consider the customer. When you do, you will keep her for life.

Honestly, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just truly appreciate a business that is nimble enough to change in order to impact the customer experience.

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About Tracey Parsons

Tracey Parsons

Since 1995, Tracey has been developing digital solutions. Currently SME Digital’s lead strategist, she continues to be dedicated to bringing cutting edge, thoughtful and measurable solutions to marketers. With more than 15 years in digital, Tracey not only brings vision, but the tools and strategies to execute against complex next generation concepts. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands to develop and devise cutting-edge social, mobile and digital marketing practices.

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Comments & Reactions

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Patrick McFadden

    I think bringing it all together is where the money is. If you can’t execute on using technology to delight customers, then you’re just making it more confusing and creating a horrible experience,

  • Barry Feldman
    • Tracey Parsons

      Love it, Barry!

  • James R. Halloran

    That’s the first rule of marketing — it’s not about what your product does or what critics say about it, it’s how you make the customer feel about the product. That experience is still surprisingly underrated.

    I agree with you, Tracey. Focus on how you make a customer feel and you’ll keep them for life.

    • Tracey Parsons

      When the world is ultra competitive, experience is the fastest way to cut through the clutter. Fast, but, unfortunately not simple.

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  • GMR Website Maintenance

    Very well written on how to make customers feel comfortable. Personable
    in looks and helpful in nature are some of the key-skills to convert a
    visitor into a customer.

  • James Banbury

    In a world where overseas competition has most beaten on price, we can bounce back with excellent customer service, winning the customers loyalty and keeping them for life.

  • Annamarie Wayland

    A very, very good post indeed! The customer is always king and you just reminded me at the beginning of a new year again how vital every aspect of it is to your business. Thank you for sharing!