I am a co-leader of my local Appleton, Wisconsin chapter of the Rising Tide Society, a group of creative entrepreneurs who come together in the spirit of community over competition. We are all about providing free and low-cost education as a means to lift each other up in business. Each month, we gather on the second Tuesday and talk about a common theme in business. Last month around this time, we discussed the topic of Client Experience.
Ever since then, my awareness has been heightened and I have reflected on my own experiences as a customer in many settings. I can, of course, name a few poor or mediocre experiences, but what good does that do? I want to really show off the things that left a positive impact on me!
- Made my Mee, Appleton, WI: I contacted Michelle, owner of Made by Mee, to see if she could make me a custom crocheted lion hood by Halloween for our toddler to wear as part of her costume. What I loved, beside the ridiculously adorable finished product, was that Michelle had stellar communication skills. She gave me an honest estimate of how long it would take to finish the project based on other items in her production queue. Also, she noted my ideas and color preferences and made exactly what I was looking for! Lastly, she personally delivered the hood to me in a gift bag. Now this, my friends, is how to run a handmade goods business!
- Smith Pharmacy, Little Chute, WI: After getting prescription medication at national pharmacy stores for years and years, I heard through the grapevine of this absolute gem of a store. Smith Pharmacy is a no-frills pharmacy located about 15 minutes away from me. Although I would rather not drive all that way just to pick up medicine, I figured I would check it out at least once. After my visit, I thought, “Where have you been all my life?!” Seriously, I was amazed. My prescription was approximately $300 per month at a national chain and it was $18 here. The staff were so helpful, setting up a monthly mail delivery service (for no extra charge). So I can get what I need A: for the same price B: delivered to my house and C: on time so I never miss a dose. Lastly, they had a free Ms. PacMan game, small toy area, and free lollipops for the kids to make wait even easier. Thank goodness for local businesses who think about their customers!
- Best Buy, Appleton, WI: This weekend, our microwave finally kicked the bucket and needed to be replaced. I swear this thing has been trying to kill me for years, so I am glad. I dragged my whole family to Best Buy to look at new microwaves, completely expecting the shopping process to take forever, across multiple stores. When we got to the appliance section, an associate connected me to the Appliance Guru, who brought me to his computer and asked me several important questions. He essentially narrowed down my search to the exact model I needed and lo and behold, it was in stock! He automatically did price match searching without my asking, saving me $20, and brought the unit up to the front to wait for us while we finished shopping. This whole process took less than ten minutes (hooray!) and my kiddos barely had time to complain. Checkout was easy and one of the associates helped load it into our vehicle.
I wanted to share experiences from three very different businesses, of three very different scales. All three left a positive impact on my shopping experience and it was all due to one thing: those people always seemed to be focused on providing quality customer service.
I am looking forward to sharing more business reviews in the future, diving a little deeper into what I learned from my experiences. I hope you join me on my journey!