Posted on February 12, 2019 by Dennis Snow
Guest blogger Danny Snow shares an inspiring story about how a wow customer experience paid off two years later for a retailer. Customer focus combined with patience can truly pay off!
How Little Wows Add Up To A Big Sale
by Danny Snow
For as long as I can remember, my father has preached the importance of the little wows in business. His 20-year Disney career ingrained that service principle into his brain and it has become one of the main areas of focus in his presentations on the customer experience that he delivers around the world. The big wows are what get the headlines and make for fun stories, like the Nordstrom employee who refunded someone’s purchase of snow tires, even though Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires. But the little wows are key to differentiating your organization in today’s crowded marketplace.
A few years ago, I was at the Millenia Mall in Orlando and had some time to spare as I waited for a friend to finish shopping. My wife had recently given me a watch for our anniversary, and soon after I found myself on the lookout for new watches to wear for different occasions. As I was walking through the mall that day, I came across the Breitling store. Now I had never heard of this company, but the watches in the window looked nice so I decided to go in and kill some time looking around.
Matt, the Assistant Manager, greeted me as I walked in and immediately engaged with me. Considering I was wearing an old pair of jeans, an old Florida State University t-shirt and a beat up pair of K-Swiss tennis shoes, I’m assuming Matt was pretty sure I wouldn’t be making a purchase. I think in most high-end stores, a “hi” from an associate is about the most I would have received.
Nevertheless, he continued talking with me and after a couple of minutes I asked Matt what these watches cost. I quickly learned that I had no business being in that store. He started to go into his spiel when I cut him off and said, “Let me stop you right there. I can’t come close to affording one of these watches and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.” Instead of walking off and attending to something else in the store, he kept talking with me. He went into detail about their different watches, the brand and how it compares to other luxury watch companies like Rolex, even though he knew he wasn’t getting a sale that day, or in all likelihood, ever. But, he treated me as if I was a potential buyer. Matt walked me through the $5,000 watches, the $10,000 options and even the $50,000 watches. He even asked me if I would like to try one on. I must admit that seeing that $50,000 watch on my wrist was a pretty big wow!
The little moments leading up to me trying on that watch, along with the way he treated me and interacted with me truly created a lasting impact. It would have been easy for him to move on to another customer or another task that needed to be completed and I wouldn’t have blamed him at all. Honestly, I felt bad that I was wasting his time. But he stayed in the moment with me and I knew right then and there that if I ever had an opportunity to purchase a luxury timepiece, I wanted to come back to Breitling and buy it from Matt.
As I got ready to leave, he gave me his card and a catalog featuring their new collections. For two years I kept them both on my nightstand with the thought that one day I’d be able to buy one. Fast forward to January 2019. I had just earned a big commission from a large sale at work. On top of that, my employer told me they wanted to give me a watch to celebrate my 10 year anniversary with the company. Combined together, I would finally have enough to purchase the watch I really wanted.
When my employer asked me what kind of watch I wanted, my mind immediately went to the experience I had at the Breitling store. I’m sure that most people would have gone to Rolex considering they’re usually the first name people think of when it comes to luxury watches, and had I not wandered into Breitling years ago, I likely would have done the same. For me, it was never a consideration. I emailed Matt that day to make sure he still worked there. Two weeks later, I went back to the Millenia Mall to purchase a new watch from him. The in-store experience, this time as an actual customer, was exceptional. I left the store that day with an amazing new watch and as a raving fan of the Breitling organization.
In case you are wondering, I did not purchase the $50,000 watch. But in the event I have the opportunity to buy another luxury watch in the future, you can bet I’m going back to Matt to get it.
Here are some things to think about: What are the areas in your organization where you can build little wows into the culture? Are you only focusing on who you believe can buy from you now instead of nurturing future possibilities?