What's on your list? Here’s my top 10…

Since Thanksgiving just happened last week many of my business conversations have begun with how was your Thanksgiving?”  I bet yours have too. Recently, when that question was asked there was a pause; and, I believe it was because the person had to think about it. 

As everyone that lives on our planet knows, Thanksgiving is kick-off for the height of selling season for retail in preparation for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and all of the days counting down to the gift giving day of Christmas.  So, no wonder a retail professional struggles to remember Thanksgiving a week ago because in retail time it was light years in the past; and, now the laser focus is on THE holiday sales. 

In the spirit of ushering in a season that means so much to the retail industry. I am pausing for all of us during this busy season to give thanks. 

Here is what is on my list of the top 10 items to be grateful for that many of us can relate to during this very busy, undeniably stressful and beautiful season:

 1.  The excitement of every child. 

 2.  Finding deals for the items on our shopping list. 

 3.  Selecting the BEST Christmas tree. 

 4.  Decorating our homes. 

 5.  Going OFF the diet until after the Holidays. 

 6.  Catching ourselves humming a Christmas song. 

 7.  Recognizing those in need. 

 8.  Giving. 

 9.  Feeling the joy of the season. 

 10.  Just Gratitude. 

 The focus on Holiday retail sales and Holiday busyness will be over soon. So, when asked how was your Holiday?  I plan on pausing and giving a silent thanks of gratitude. Happy Holidays!

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.  

Please follow the eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 

It’s Kick-Off Time!

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It’s kick-off time and I’m not talking about Thursday night football. Today, starts the 3rd annual Home Improvement eRetailer Summit conference sessions

The Summit is based on gaining intelligence and insights that are relevant to retail, eCommerce and home improvement. It helps manufacturers, distributors, brick & mortar and online retailers learn more about and leverage the growth opportunities in home improvement online sales. Primarily, because so many other product categories are more eCommerce mature than the home improvement product category; which, includes a long list of sub-categories. These categories include hardware & tools, lawn & garden, outdoor living, home decor & paint, home environment, housewares, home security, storage & organization and more. The Summit creates a focused environment for industry professionals to come network, learn and meet with potential partners with one-to-one facilitated appointments.

Its launch in 2016 gathered 20 people to a south Florida resort; and, started with a different format than exist today and the goal will always be to evolve based on customer feedback just as we began. And, while this year we have grown to more than 70 attendees, it still maintains its core values which include:

Collaborative by actively leaning on its advisory council which represents retail, eCommerce and home improvement influencers in the trenches every single day. View the advisory council.

Intimate because it’s invitation only and attendees are vetted and pre-qualified before extending an official invitation.

Insightful in attracting top A-list speakers in sharing their experiences, data and perspectives on retail and eCommerce; specifically, as it relates to home improvement. View the agenda.

Focused on home improvement online sales with gathering the right connections, delivering the right content and offering appointments with the right partners. View guest eRetailers.

Whether you are attending or not, you can still kick-off your day by joining a much-needed conversation for home improvement online retail sales. Please follow us on Twitter @eretailersummit and our LinkedIn Showcase Page and please use #eretailersummit18 to share your insights and join the conversation.

And, by the way, consider scheduling the Summit on your calendar and include it in your events budget for 2019. It will be back in Chicago, Nov. 6-8! Cheers to a great 2018 Summit!

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.  

Please follow the eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

What's your follow up like?

 A reminder to myself to follow up, be persistent but don’t be a pest!

A reminder to myself to follow up, be persistent but don’t be a pest!

Regardless of the type of business we’re in research shows that the most successful people are those that consistently follow up. We can’t get the sale if we don’t follow up. We can’t build a relationship if we don’t follow up. To be able to follow-up successfully is clearly a skill and a characteristic that screams that you are different. Whether you are an attentive waitress or advertising executive, it is all about the follow up. Let’s face it, most people just don’t consistently follow up.

 What’s your follow up like?

When I truthfully answer this question, I know I have some work to do here. It’s not because I don’t follow up but because I am one of “those people” that will continually follow up. For an example, if there is a “did not respond” until I hear no I am going to try and connect with you in various ways. Some people appreciate the persistence and I think it makes them that more interested in finally connecting. But, in most cases, I have to admit that the level of tenacity I bring to follow up isn’t always balanced; and, sometimes the scale can tip and prospects might (probably) think I’m a pest.

Every time I start thinking I’m a pest, I read research like this one from Dartnell Corp about following up on sales prospects. It’s obvious the most people eventually give up but these numbers are staggering. Here they are:

  •  48 % give up on the first contact

  •  73 % give up on the second contact

  •  84 % give up on the third contact

  •  90% give up on the fourth contact

The premise of the study was based on the fact that persistence pays off; which, of course makes perfect sense - that is intellectually it makes sense. But, when you are facing rejection after rejection it becomes an emotional response to give up.

What statistical group do you fall-in?

If it’s a lower one don’t feel bad. You can make it a point to develop stronger follow-up skills now. If you’re in the higher group, congratulations! You’re one of the 10% of salespeople that generate 80% of sales. It takes a disciplined person to follow up while continually hearing no. You see the end game and know the process is long. It’s very clear, in most cases, the longer we continue to have meaningful follow-up with a prospect the greater opportunity to win a client. (The client sees that you care and that you’re not going anywhere). It can be daunting but in the end the result is worth celebrating. If it were easy everyone would do it, right?

But it’s not. It is well documented that it takes between 11-14 touches before someone buys. And, I can vouch for that in my business too. Some might say that sounds high. But to me, it sounds right on point because you’re including multiple layers of touches including e-mail, social media, phone, and/or face to face meetings.

It’s hard to make that many connections and to not be a pest. There will be definite times when the client might not appreciate the bugging. It’s hard to do but we need to back off. (Or at least I do). But, I’m willing to admit that my follow-up needs more balance; and, I plan to work on it. What about you?

 Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.  

Please follow the eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are customers mouthing-off about your brand?

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My sister recently visited a church that was new for her.  She was so thrilled by their warm welcome and swag bag full of goodies that she couldn’t wait to call and share her experience. The gifts included a bible, coffee cup, sunglasses (this happened in the summer) and a prayer wristband.  Nothing different, nothing novel but it made my sister feel good about them because they went the extra yard; and, thanked her for deciding to spend her Sunday morning with them.  Remember even churches compete for attendees (members). 

Isn’t that the end game for every brand?  A customer’s experience should be so good that they share it with everyone else. When a brand has delivered a positive experience word of mouth is the best marketing ever! It elevates that brand above its competitor.  

An excerpt from Forbes Senior Contributor Kimberly A. Whistler (Jul 17, 2014, 8:48 pm Why Word Of Mouth Marketing Is The Most Important Social Media) looks at the following facts:

  “According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. “. 

Okay that says it all. What gets 92% endorsement?  Nothing these days. Those are really high numbers but let’s face it we believe people that we love and trust. So, when a family member or friend relays their positive interaction with the brand; we decide we want that experience too. In addition, the same article goes on to say:

In a recent study, 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. However, only 6% say they have mastered it.”  

So, based on those numbers there is tremendous opportunity in leveraging our customers experience to the point that they share it with others.  But, how?  Here are some of my personal favorites combining contemporary with old-school tactics. 

Technology:  Take advantage of social media platforms and technology formats.  For example, send a thank you note after your customer’s experience with a social media link asking them to share their positive experience with your brand. Take time to encourage customers to post a video and write reviews on popular sites that customers use as references.

Give-Aways:  Premiums are always long lasting opportunities to get your name out into the marketplace. And, customers always love multiple gifts that are functional and packed in a bag. Just make sure that we select gifts that are relevant and deemed valuable to our customers. 

Personal Touch:  Personal attention always works especially if you’re in the service business.  A follow-up call WOWS the customers. It shows that you took the time to reach out to them.

Research:  Traditional Surveys can be an inexpensive way to understand “word of mouth” through data. The net promoter score is a great way to gauge specific feedback – would you recommend this brand/product/experience to a friend/colleague?   Data helps us gain insights from our customers; so, we can tweak their journey with our brand. This is especially true if it wasn’t a good experience.  

Some of the above tactics are expensive; some of them aren’t but it’s very important to figure out what works best with our target customers.  To know that there is so much opportunity to increase our word of mouth marketing versus paying for advertising is encouraging; and, let’s face it, we all need customers positively mouthing-off about our brands!

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.  

Please follow the eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 



 

5 Reasons: Why Big Isn't Always Better…

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My nephew is a senior in high school (that’s him #44) and happens to be a darn good football player. He has a number of colleges scouting his talent to play at their school. While it might appear to him that the Division I schools are the best because of their sheer size and their investments in their sports program; he was encouraged (by his parents) to look at smaller Division III schools because they might better fit his needs.   

Why do we always think bigger is best?  In some cases that is true but not in all instances; and, we need to evaluate each situation on its own merit taking into account our needs and goals.

Recently I pitched a speaking role to a company. Based on all conversations they liked what was being presented — the topic, the target, the end goal EXCEPT the audience wasn’t big enough.  

They like to go BIG… 

Believe me, I get that but not when all the other marks have been hit.  So, whether it is a decision to attend a school, speak at an event or to accept a position at a company, consider that the biggest choice isn’t always the best decision. 

Here’s my 5 Reasons Why Big Isn’t Always Best…

 1.      Quality versus Quantity:  Small counts as quality.  Quality is intentional, takes effort and has a distinct intelligent purpose; Quantity is all about numbers.

 “Quality is more important than quantity.  One home run is much better than two doubles.”   Steve Jobs

2.      Focus versus Distractions:  Focus counts as attention.  Focus is directing time and attention to a smaller number of issues.  Distractions is all about disruption.

 “My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.”  Bill Gates

 3.      Unique versus Individual:  Unique counts as not comparable.  Unique is un-parallel, un-matched and un-equal.  Individual is all about making up a group.

 “Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.”   Deepak Chopra

 4.      Meaningful versus Shallow:  Meaningful counts as significant.  Meaningful is genuine, relevant and important.  Shallow is superficial.

 “A meaningful silence is always better than a meaningless word.”  Anonymous 

5.  Follow-up versus Fall-thru:  Follow Up counts as results-oriented.  Follow Up is the ability to do what you said you were going to do.  Fall-thru is nothing. 

"To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don't close a sale, open a relationship." – Patricia Fripp

Being in an environment with a small group considered a quality target gives us the opportunity to focus on the issue at hand.  It gives us the chance to learn about the uniqueness of that person. It allows us to have meaningful conversations in a way that instills passion. When all of these forces come together follow-up is easy because we know exactly who we are talking to and the points to be made. 

 So, when considering whether to join, attend or accept please look at other parameters in addition to size. Because big isn’t automatically always the best. 

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.  

Please follow the eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 





 

 

 





What does the new Internet Sales Tax decision mean to your business?

The Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair overturns a 1992 ruling, Quill v. North Dakota, that, in essence, made the Internet a tax-free zone. 

The latest ruling gives states broader taxing power that, according to various estimates, could allow them to reap anywhere from $8 billion to $23 billion more sales taxes annually. 

Currently, all but five states—Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon—impose sales taxes. The ruling was a particular victory to South Dakota, whose law requires dealers with more than $100,000 in sales or 200 transactions per year in the state to pay a 4.5% tax on purchases, including those made with buyers in states where the seller might not have a physical presence. 

At least 16 other states have laws similar to South Dakota’s that would allow them to start collecting taxes from online sellers. 

Online retailers such as Wayfair and Overstock opposed the South Dakota measure because, they assert, smaller sellers would be hit with onerous compliance costs. 

What does this decision mean to your business?

Very few people understand the intricate implications, how to prepare for it and what are some solutions. Brian Fricano, CEO and Founder of Sustainable Supply is one of the few. He will join the Home Improvement eRetailer Summit to discuss, clarify and offer solutions to this recent federal ruling. 

             Brian Fricano, Founder/CEO                                     Sustainable Supply.com

            Brian Fricano, Founder/CEO                                     Sustainable Supply.com

Read more here http://www.eretailersummit.com/press-releases/

If you haven’t registered yet, please do at https://www.eretailersummit.com/eretailers-info/request-an-invitiation/ and take $300 off with code ATTEB because we all should understand what this decision means to our business and our market. Hope to see you November 7-9, 2018 at the Hotel Monaco Chicago in Downtown Chicago. 

 

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  

Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.  

Please follow the eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 

Guest Blogger, Julianne Will: B2B E-Commerce: Living Up to the Same Standards as B2C

 Julianne Will, Writer/ Editor/Social Media Consultant & Founder, Local Universe

Julianne Will, Writer/ Editor/Social Media Consultant & Founder, Local Universe

Long gone are the days when a buyer was willing to make multiple phone calls and fill out written paperwork to research a purchasing decision. In fact, today's agents expect the Amazon shopping experience. Here are some important considerations.

Let’s start with a pretty stunning fact: In March of 2015, nearly half of all B2B researchers were millennials, according to a Think with Google report. “Back in 2012, there was a pretty even mix across age groups. In 2014, however, 18- to 34-year-olds accounted for almost half of all researchers, an increase of 70 percent,” the report stated.

It’s likely the number of millennials in this role has only increased. And millennials, who are largely digital natives, have been game-changers when it comes to technology.

They’re helping to drive a fundamental shift in today’s B2B buyer. Instead of talking to sales reps, “most B2B shoppers are 57 percent of the way through a new purchase before they reach out, and 93 percent prefer to buy online,” according to Shopify Plus, the customizable e-commerce platform designed for high-growth merchants, including B2B companies.

The growth is rapid, but there’s room for more: B2B e-commerce will reach $1.2 trillion in the United States by 2021 and account for 13.1 percent of all B2B sales, Forrester estimated in its June 2017 report “Landscape: The B2B eCommerce Playbook.”

That 13 percent might not be indicative of a lack of demand, but rather a reticence on the part of B2B organizations to commit more fully to e-commerce.

There are special challenges, of course. While purchasing agents are expecting the same sort of functionality, immediacy and ease of use for research and transactions that they experience in their everyday lives, manufacturers often need to manage dynamic pricing for different customers; the ability to request a quote; or real-time inventory figures, for example.

Fortunately, an increasing number of software solutions are allowing manufacturers to establish platforms that function much like the online shopping sites buyers are used to. Sana, a maker of e-commerce solutions for wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers, reported in October 2017 that of the top 10 channels cited by the 300 businesses they surveyed, three were some form of web store.

A robust and successful B2B e-commerce program will function much like the best B2C retail sites. Key is to apply traditional sales fundamentals to this new way of doing things. You’re still selling solutions. Can you categorize your products via use or application rather than type? Can you model after Amazon and populate a list of goods that “you might also be interested in” when a buyer adds a product to the cart? What about recurring items that can be saved to a “frequently bought” shopping list available to the agent the next time he or she logs in?

Whether you sell to a distributor or to a retailer, B2B e-commerce also is the ideal way to provide up-to-the-minute product information that can help sales downstream and increase loyalty to your company. What might your buyer need? Downloadable specs or signage? A sharable assembly or use video? Not only will this increase your market presence further along the sales funnel, but it also will make life easier for the B2B researcher--again, providing solutions.

The need for a solid reputation and impeccable service doesn’t change even if the means of researching and purchasing does, of course. Most wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers still will need to provide a diverse set of channels.

That might mean offering buyers a way to call with a more complex question than your site can answer. Sales reps might take on an increased relationship-building and service function, helping to identify other business needs that can be met by a company’s offerings or even visiting on site to see how products and product content are being used. Demos and shows still are a great way to offer researchers the ability to touch, taste and test a product. And complex products may require a pre-purchase visit from an expert to identify the right mix of solutions.

Julianne has been published in major metropolitan daily newspapers and national magazines, as well as written print and online copy for diverse industries including wine, fitness, food, travel, retail, banking, industrial technology, real estate, commercial paint and decorating, and more. She crafts strategy, creates profiles and serves as the voice of businesses on social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Julianne also has launched a small ecommerce business retailing goods that give back.

Follow Sonya Ruff Jarvis, Jarvis Consultants, LLC on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit

Please follow the new eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

How hard is it for you to just say no?

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It’s always interesting to me that people find it hard to say “no”.  I am talking about the people that don’t say yes, either.  Right, you know what I’m talking about.  If you have been in business for any length of time you have come across people who just can’t say no but they don’t say yes.

Many believe that when you never respond that it should be accepted as the universal “no”.

Yet, just saying no from the beginning would save so much time and money.  I believe saying no should be considered a standard of excellence in conducting oneself with professional etiquette.  I would guess that most people would appreciate that response and see it as a respectful gesture that you don’t want to waste anyone’s time including your own.

Say no, if you’re not interested…

Say no, if you’re don’t want the person on the other end to call you back…

Say no, if you don’t want emails and voice mails clogging your inbox...

But for some reason, the majority of us just can’t say no.  I did some research on this topic only to find out that this phenomenon has been talked about and written about at exhaustive levels; but mostly about people who always say “yes”.  An article written by Hank Davis from Psychology Today put it best “…they are far more comfortable having your request die of old age than actually refusing it.  They’ll leave it for you to figure out whatever it was you wanted just ain’t gonna happen”.

Really?  Just say “no thank you”.

Here’s my top 5 reasons why we just can’t say no. They are:

1.      The Universal language of “no”

 By not responding you get the message. (We already talked about this which I believe is the #1 reason.)

2.      Avoiding Tension/Conflict

Uncomfortable saying no because we don’t want tension or conflict.  

3.      Hedging our Bets

Thinking about the issue because we don’t want to entirely close the door because it’s just like the lottery “you never know”

4.      Too Busy

Believing that we are too busy to stop and take the time to respond. 

5.      Not Relevant

It’s just not relevant to our business/being.  (This is the most justifiable reason but still just respond “no”.)

focusing is about saying no
— Steve Jobs

That makes a lot of sense intellectually; and, admittedly, I’m not a psychologist (even though I did consider Psychology as a Minor in undergraduate for a moment).  But it’s my guess that it’s more of an emotionally-driven non-response.

Either way, like the lyrics of a popular song “say something or I’m giving up on you”.  But, wouldn’t it be so much easier to just say “no”?

 

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit

Please follow the new eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 

 

When was the last time you felt "welcomed home"?

When was the last time you felt “welcomed home” by a brand?

  Ralphie and Snuggels back home and getting ready for a bath!

Ralphie and Snuggels back home and getting ready for a bath!

In the winter we took a trip that wasn’t for pleasure but was necessary. Both Snuggles (a small pink bear) and Ralphie (a small brown bear) have been traveling with us since our daughter was a baby.  We once lost Ralphie at a Disney hotel. He got tangled up in the bed sheets when the maid cleaned the room. Lucky for us, we realized that he was missing and immediately alerted the lost and found at the hotel; and, once we identified him we got him back. We escaped a bad outcome. 

Well for this winter trip, we stayed in two different hotels over a short four day period. It was a memorial and burial for my Mom. So, we weren’t as sharp as we normally are due to the circumstances. 

This was mid-February. 

Fast forward to April we realized that Snuggles and Ralphie were missing. 

I called the last hotel we stayed at near the Charlotte airport and they informed me that they only keep lost and found items for 30 days but they would take a look around and get back to me if they found something.  I chalked that up to lost cause. 

I then called the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Hickory, NC where we stayed first. I should mention that this is the same hotel that I stayed at for my monthly visits down to see my mother when she was ill. On our last visit, there was a sympathy card in our room signed by the entire staff.  

I was informed that housekeeping would get back to me. 

They did. 

Not only did the head of housekeeping call me. She was holding both Snuggles and Ralphie and giving me a full description of each. 

This was great news!  They found the bears and kept them!  Now to get them home. 

I worked with the front desk to ship them out via UPS to our home. Both arrived unharmed the following week. And, my daughter was happy to welcome them home. 

This hotel property didn’t disappoint me. They have always showed exemplary customer service by learning my name, my sibling names that stayed there from out of town, greeting us and always ensuring that all of our requests were met.  

In the day where every company claims that they deliver excellence in customer service there are few who truly execute well. Here’s what the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Hickory, NC delivered to me and my family for over a year in customer service; they:

·         Made it Personal - from the Front Desk to the Breakfast Waitress they made it a point to not only greet us but get to know us. 

·         Cared – they felt our pain every month as we visited our sick Mother. Always giving us a word of encouragement. 

·         Listened - they couldn’t make it personal or care without listening to us. (Really listening). 

·         Followed Up - they did what they said they would do. The housekeeper followed up; the front desk shipped the bears. 

Many brands talk about customer service but how many of us deliver a high level of service on a consistent basis throughout every level of the company?  

It took welcoming Snuggles and Ralphie home to remind me that this hotel made me feel welcomed each month I stepped through their lobby doors.  What are you doing to make your customers feel like they are being welcomed every time they come back?

 

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit

Please follow the new eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 

 

Guess where?

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I know that this has been a realization for a while; and, I have written about it before. But it still just amazes me that it’s anybody’s guess what store you might be in when you show merchandising photos. Recently we were looking for outdoor deck furniture. Nothing elaborate because we have a limited amount of time to enjoy good weather here in the Northeast. Don’t feel bad for us. There are some wonderful benefits to living on the East Coast but unfortunately, weather isn’t one of them. 

We hit all of the usual retail suspects both brick and mortar (independents and mass) and online (specialty and mass). 

So I thought it would be fun to play a guessing game with you. I included merchandising photos of five different stores (including grocery).  Undoubtedly, some are obscure retailers that we would never consider buying outdoor furniture from to just make it that more interesting.; and, to make a point that every retailer is trying to sell seasonal merchandise.

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Those of you who know the retail landscape probably got every guess correct. So, congratulations! 

What was really interesting, is that we ended up going to a retailer that has been in the news a lot lately (and not in a positive way). 

Without fail, every brick and mortar sales associate (both mass and specialty) told us that there were more options online. We actually found a set we liked and we told the sales associate we would order it online. He immediately explained if we order it online without him that he doesn’t get commission; so, we felt a little obligated to order with him. It wasn’t the retailer’s online store but its marketplace. 

So, he sat down in front of the computer and we waded through pages and pages of outdoor furniture on their website and their marketplace. We decided on a set. The sales associate punched in my address, credit card, etc.  It was more like a concierge service except we had to look at all of the photos with him as he worked the mouse scrolling through the options. 

At the same time, we bought an umbrella and grill from the store to be delivered. Later, we found out that it was sales associate second day on the job; so, we were especially glad that we took the extra time and made the sale with him. 

And, in case you’re still guessing the retailer locations of the above photos, I have to tell you I took these photos over the course of early to late spring; so, it’s anybody’s guess. 

 

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit

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