Rebecca participated recently in a new event and posted about lessons learned from retail, specifically:

What successful retailers are doing: even e-shops are opening physical showrooms, including Ebay and Amazon.  People want an escape, an experience and something memorable.  Shops are working to make people feel they are the priority from the time they walk in the door  Friendly, helpful service is a must that extends to advice and demonstrations (Genius Bar of Apple Stores); Apple is extending their help bars that have stools – why don’t “reference desks” have stools?  People expect to be checked out on the spot, not have to go to a checkout desk.

Rebecca also posted the key messages including space that is friendly, personal and curated.  So I want to continue the discussion of learning from retail.   I’m back to Nordstrom and my shopping experience the other day.  When I went into the store there were sections of each department in the store that were blocked off with floor to ceiling grey drapes with a small opening in front.  I asked what was going on and was told, “this is a peek at our new fall merchandise whichwe  have put on sale for our loyal customers (you have to use your Nordstrom card to purchase at the sale price!).”  How cool is that — see what’s coming up for fall (future trends we curated from collection), get an early discount (a treat for being a loyal customer), we value you and want you to know it in an exclusive way.  Not only that, the sales person provided personal service showing me the pieces and carrying those I selected.  Talk about friendly, personal and curated……WOW.  So as I went through the store, I automatically looked for more of these exclusive areas.  Amazing.

How can we make our customers and clients feel special?  Reward loyalty?  Build on existing relationships?  I just love the idea of exclusive products or services, prioritizing the things we do.  It has always been hard to be “all things to all people”  but making strategic decisions about who is most important for furthering our strategic goals and plans is also tough — but necessary.  Certainly we want to create products and services for those customers who give us the most bang for our buck, even if we provide those same products and services to a wider audience.  Primary clients do deserve to be feel special and have exclusive opportunities.  Got some ideas of what you can do for them in your environment?  Please share!