Columnists, Operations, Sales & Marketing, V9I4

Meeting Your Customers Where They Are  

(Photo courtesy of youssef naddam on Unsplash)

“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” — Jerry Gregorie

For those of you who know me, you know that I always talk about how important the customer is. 

Saying that seems so obvious at times but can also be taken for granted way more often than it should. 

We live in the digital age where more folks are buying sheds online and over the phone. That’s great, but the need is still there to meet customers where they are in the sales process. 

I was reminded of this just recently and wanted to break down the experience with you. This may come across as boring to some, but I can tell you that providing the best customer experience will win out in the end.

Here’s what happened …

An older couple stopped by my business the other day and the gentleman who was walking with a cane slowly made his way to my office. 

I greeted him and he asked me for some information on a shed where he could store some lawn equipment and other items. 

I gave the man my recommendation and I asked him why he was walking with a cane. He informed me that he and his wife had been in a terrible auto accident; she was in the car unable to come in after suffering a stroke from the accident. 

He asked me for permission to drive around the lot and look at sheds, and I said yes of course. 

It was the end of the day, and I was tired and ready to go home. It was at that moment I realized that this was an awesome opportunity to provide excellent customer service and not give in to my emotions! 

I pointed to the building and told the man I would be right there to answer any questions for him and his wife. We met at the shed and his wife had a hard time speaking but I intently listened to her while I was standing in the hot sun. I offered them both a bottle of water and even ran to the office to grab it for them. 

We discussed the shed for around 30 minutes before I asked them the million-dollar question: “Would you like me to get the shed ordered for you?” 

They looked at each other and said that they needed me to site-check their property in order to make sure that the shed would go in where they wanted it.  

I said absolutely. I stopped by the following morning and everything looked great. The couple stopped by the office later that afternoon and purchased the shed and all ended well! 

They told me that they purchased from me because I had taken the time to meet them at the shed and discuss the options. 

The gentleman surprised me when he told me that out of the three shed lots they had visited, I was the only one that had stopped by their home to check out the site! 

That really got me thinking just how important it is to meet the customer on their terms. 

Our job is to advance the sale forward for our customers! That’s it! If the customer needs me to meet them on a hot day at the shed and spend 30 minutes answering questions, so be it. 

If the customer needs me to take the time to stop by their home and do a site check, so be it. 

If the customer is thirsty and I need to grab them a cold bottle of water, so be it. You see my point. 

The customer wants to solve their storage problems, and it is up to us to do it in the most efficient and nicest way possible. You have to be willing to get uncomfortable and do things t that you don’t want to do. 

I run my own company and take all of the calls. I could pay someone to clean my office and lot, but I do it myself. I love the grind. 

I want to make sure that my customers know that I not only care about their needs during the sales process but, more importantly, after the sale has been made. They (the customers) get me, my years of experience, my reputation, and my follow-through!

I do know this for sure. Assisting your customers with their needs and meeting them where they are can often be the deciding factor in earning their business! 

Be the nicest—outwork everyone—be better than yesterday!

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June/July 2024