Bigger is Bigger But Not Neccessarily Better

bigger 2Have you walked around a large department or food store lately? Too big to fail? I’m not so sure. I’m not convinced bigger is better. Bigger is bigger but not necessarily better. I spent 30 years in retail – managing and owning multi-million dollar businesses so I understand a bit about product selection and customer service. If I had to make a choice I’d spend my money on customer service every time. After all – how many different types of hammers do you need? At what point do customers give up looking at all the different models of toasters on the shelf and just pick one – any one? Too many choices of anything tends to numb the brain.

Who are you building your stores for? You or your target customer? The population is aging. They want to be able to get in – find what they want – and get out. They want to be able to walk around your store without having to walk endlessly in circles or guess where the exits are. They want to be able to find a sales person when they need help. They’d like to shop in a warm, friendly, inviting place – not a store that overwhelms, confuses and intimidates them. I may be dating myself but I remember a time when 25,000 square feet of retail space was the ideal size of store. Big enough to carry a large assortment of products with some breadth and depth. A store that you could manoeuver around in with ease.

The “Information Overload” epidemic continues. Here’s a case in point. I met up with some dear friends for lunch yesterday. My friend and I love hamburgers and fries so we decided to check out a popular burger place. Do you really need to list 12 different hamburgers on your menu? It’s a hamburger! – Enough already! What ever happened to the good, better, best selection process? Have we reached a tipping point yet? I certainly hope so. I think we are making life way more difficult than it needs to be. We need to go back to a simpler time.  Bigger is bigger but not necessarily better.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can deliver an entertaining and informative session on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. http://briansmithpld.com

Women Make The Best Bus Drivers

I love watching people. I’m not talking about stocking here – just watching. People are facinating. You gotta wonder some times what motivated them to do what they do. How they talk, walk and act. What makes people act that way? What compelled them to dress that way? And based on my observation – women are much better at jobs that require dealing with the public. Generally speaking women seem to have better social skills. They seem to smile more, interact with others more and have a pleasant outlook on life more.

Have you taken public transit lately? I take the bus quite often and it just seems to me that women bus drivers are more likely to greet you with a smile and a pleasant hello – as opposed to a male bus driver who barely acknowledges you at all.

Working with the public – isn’t for everyone – I get that.  But if you aren’t happy doing what you do – do yourself and everyone else a favor and pick an alternative career – because you aren’t going to be all you should be with this one. At least learn to act like you’re glad to see me. Hey – That’s all I’m sayin.

5 Habits of Customer-Obsessed Companies | Inc.com

The only thing that will separate you from your competition is the level of customer service you provide. It’s not your product – it’s not your price – it’s not your selection. (Your competitors are already doing the same) The only competitive advantage is the customer service that you and your team members provide. Providing exceptional customer service is not as difficult as it may sound. All you have to be – is be better than your competition. All you have to be – is be better than the last customer service experience your clients had.  Have you shopped your competitors lately? You should. If you aren’t shopping your competitors weekly – and comparing their service against the service that your company is providing – you’re giving them an edge.  – Great article on those companies that are doing it well. How do you stack up against them? Enjoy the read. Stay Focused. – Cheers – Brian

5 Habits of Customer-Obsessed Companies | Inc.com.