25 Oct Why Customer Experience is Kind of a BIG DEAL
Think of yourself as a customer, for a moment, shopping in one of your favorite stores. Now briefly recall some of the specific reasons why this store is your favorite and why you constantly keep going back. Maybe it’s a clothing store with incredible quality threads or maybe it’s a specific digital shop on Etsy! Wherever you imagined yourself for that brief moment, you more than likely chose it for a number of reasons that surpass mere product.
Typically, as customers, we are attracted to returning time and time again to the business that provides the most desirable shopping experience. Even if it means a heftier price tag….especially if it means a heftier price tag.
Recently, a Huffington Post article, about the humorous contradiction of returning shoppers at Whole Foods, became viral. While this article nailed a lot of points on the head regarding overcharging, long lines, and vegan/gluten-free rampant clientele, there is still an undeniable magnetic pull that draws customers in. Whole Foods quickly became the perfect example of how a business’ shopping experience is…..well…
Kind of a BIG DEAL!
A great experience compels customers to spend more
If there’s one thing most food-shopping consumers can agree on, it’s that shopping at Whole Foods on the REG has the potential to clean out your wallet. The quality of the product is generally understood as being well above average (although, some might argue in opposition); however, what’s more enjoyable than having all of these specialty, unique, and high-quality items is the surrounding environment, helpful staff, and overall shopping experience.
It might feel like your savings account has been completely replaced by gluten-free items in fancy packaging while shopping at Whole Foods, but why do so many customers (including myself and the author of the Huffington Post article) continue to return?
Roaming the aisles at Whole Foods is considered a “happy place” for many. Items are precisely arranged on stocked shelves. The cheese, bakery, butcher, and deli sections are like miniature works of art. And, the employees are so accommodating that they’d return your money (or offer store credit) at the first sight of your dissatisfaction. Part of the trade-off between breaking your bank at Whole Foods is the wonderful customer service, pristinely placed products, and general joy of being surrounded by high-quality food.
It’s safe to say that those of us who can look beyond spending a little more on groceries are quite content doing so, simply because of the stellar ambience and shopping experience at Whole Foods.
A great experience surpasses the product you serve
Although most would agree that the quality, selection, and health-conscious products at Whole Foods are generally above par, there exist far more reasons why we return as customers.
On a personal level, I have been known to shop at Whole Foods for mere shopper’s convenience and pleasure, knowingly spending more, going out of my geographical way, and being quite content with that! For me, the simple thought of stepping into some of the less-organized, congested, more mainstream grocers provokes migraine-like reflexes. It’s not to say that shopping at Whole Foods necessarily makes one a food elitist or food snob, but for me personally, I revel in the simple fact that BEING inside Whole Foods brings me to my “happy place.”
If it means being in transit for 10 extra minutes, I’m cool with that. It is simply wonderful to receive such kind customer service and being surrounded by a majestic ambiance of foodie enthusiasts.
A great experience compels customers to consistently return
One of the funny things about even the most irritable Whole Foods clients is their willingness to return. Sure, you might find yourself complaining about spending 65 bucks on three items, but that doesn’t stop you from returning time and time again.
When it comes to customer service and providing an AMAZING shopping experience, we are much more inclined to return on a consistent basis. The great shopping experience from Whole Foods exists in both the store and when customers return home. Making the customer feel ‘special,’ is their whole shtick. If you’re purchasing ice cream, you better believe it’s going in an aluminum-lined bag to lock in the cold. If you’re purchasing fresh seafood, it’s being bagged separate from your fresh produce by your personal checkout attendant. You’ve got a problem with one of your previously purchased items? No problem! They’ll hook you up with a new item or even a store credit.
Bottom line, Whole Foods knows a thing or twenty about customer care. And, they really treat their customers with respect. When you have a good experience there, you’re undeniably going back.
So, what’s the takeaway here for your own business? Well, you don’t have to have a storefront or even sell over-priced Italian cheese to make a killing when it comes to shopping experience. Simply provide a seamless, always customer-centric experience, and your clients will show utmost loyalty to you and your brand.