Ever wonder why the local Mom and Pop store is thriving while the chain store retailer is crumbling? Here’s a short list of some of the popular chain store retailers that are closing stores:
- RadioShack – 1,000 stores
- Gamestop – 150+ stores
- J.C. Penney – Up to 140 stores
- Kmart – 108 stores
It’s actually a simple concept when you step back and take a look. To drive my point home, I’m going to share a personal experience from both a mom and pop store and chain store retailer with you…
Chain Store Retailer
I decided that instead of ordering what I needed from Amazon I would go to a local shop and support them. I was looking for a very specific cord for my mixing board, a 3.5mm TRS to Dual 1/4inch TS Stereo Breakout Cable. In the past I’ve acquired this from RadioShack, so I decided I’d try my luck.
Alex, my fiancée, and I hopped in the car. I pulled up maps and had Siri navigate me to the closest RadioShack here in Salt Lake City, Utah. Much to my dismay, the sign read “Going Out of Business” and the people inside were packing up the entire store.
Looking through the glass, I made eye contact with them multiple times before I finally had to wave my hands and ask them to come over. Call me crazy, but I would have walked to the door as soon as I saw people standing there looking lost.
I thought it was just that specific store so we had Siri route us to the next closest RadioShack. We had a similar experience at the second location…
Unlike the local mom and pop store, this store was going out of business and they were on their last day of liquidation. Alex and I walked through the door to be greeted by an employee who was sitting in his chair partially hidden behind the counter. I explained what I needed and he lazily gestured at the $5 wall and said “That wall is all we’ve got left.”
Granted, I wouldn’t be ecstatic about closing my store either, but the end goal is to help the humans that walk through your door, right?
I perused the wall for a couple minutes trying to figure out how I could rig the cords to get what I needed. On the way back to the car disappointed, I thought about all the local shops that are thriving.
Simple… the stores that are closing simply don’t meet the customers’ needs. Not all needs are equal, though. I know, you’re wondering, “What does that even mean?” Let me explain…
Customer Service is one of the main reasons (if not THE main reason) a customer will return. Sadly (or not), how you make your customer FEEL is more important than the quality of your product. Think about it…
Remember that time an employee at a big box store went out of their way to ensure you left the store with what you needed? Or at very least made you happy about leaving without what you came for? Yeah, me neither.
Mom & Pop Store
Now let’s compare this experience of mine with the time I went to a local mom and pop store in Laramie, Wyoming to get the EXACT SAME cord…
While recording SOTG Radio, I found the store’s Facebook and messaged them to ask if they had what I needed. I had an answer from the store owner within an hour, which impressed me.
It turned out I actually needed two of the cords so I drove an hour to the store the next day. When I got to the local mom and pop store I explained what I needed to the lady behind the counter. She said, “Oh, you’re Jarrad, aren’t you? The owner talked to you on Facebook and let me know what you needed. I pulled the cord out, tested it to make sure everything is in working order, and I’ve got it ready for you right here.”
Unfortunately, they only had one cord left but at that point I didn’t care. I was happy to leave with less than I cam with because I was so impressed with the level of customer service I was receiving.
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The Unspoken Lesson
The moral of the story: Give a shit about the people walking through your door (or standing outside looking in). People will remember outstanding customer service long after they forget about the dismissive sales clerk.
Managing your customer’s experience and keeping their expectations high is easier now than ever before. To preface what I’m about to say; if you don’t have any systems set up it doesn’t matter what software you use. Your shit will still be broken.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way…
Personally, I use a software called Infusionsoft for all my businesses. It’s the most powerful software I’ve seen for the little bit of money you’ll spend. In this day and age there is entirely too much “noise” on the internet, I’d love to help you develop a system to turn your customers into raving fans or pick the right software to automate the systems you currently have.
Shoot me an email and let me know how I can help you!
What do you think is the #1 reason a customer returns?
Now skilled in Jujitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Sambo, the Way of the Fighting Pistol and Fighting Rifle, Jarrad is a well-rounded, tactical athlete with several professional MMA & boxing fights under his belt.
More than a brute, Jarrad has brains as well. He is the C.O.O. at Student of the Gun and owner of Think On! Productions, with years of experience producing, directing, and distributing all manner of digital media.
As a certified email marketing specialist, Markel has turned customers into raving fans by building a community of like-minded individuals. His appreciation for community led him to become an Infusionsoft Certified Partner, leveraging marketing automation to scale the human touch in his businesses.
Latest posts by Jarrad Markel (see all)
- Mom & Pop Store vs. Chain Store Retailer - June 1, 2017
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