For those who weren’t aware, I spend much of my writing life working for 1to1 Media. We focus on customer experience topics, so when I get the chance to infuse my ‘Think Customers’ blog posts with some ‘Stop & Smell the Roses’ pizzazz, I do my best to incorporate the best of both worlds. Here are some of my favorite entries from the last year just to whet your whistle:
Santa Claus and his happy helpers began working only days after Halloween, Christmas songs are playing ad nauseum in every store, and Black Friday has evolved into Black November, with deals spread throughout the month to entice customers to shop early and shop often. Sadly, we’ve come to accept and expect such gimmicks, but nothing pushes the envelope more than companies willing to open their doors before our turkey dinners even have the chance to settle.
When Macy’s hired Santa Claus, their main goal was to have someone push the goods that most kids didn’t want. But, by hiring the Kris Kringle, the department store found a miracle they didn’t bargain for. You see, Mr. Kringle refused to put profits before people. Though that young boy asked for an item the store did not sell, Mr. Kringle made the child’s Christmas wish his main concern, thus directing the boy’s mother to another store altogether. The woman, shocked by such an unorthodox strategy, expressed her newfound loyalty to Macy’s and her delight over “putting the spirit of Christmas ahead of the commercial.”
When you tell someone you remember card catalogs in a time before online databases, they immediately assume you have three grown children and a mortgage. But, once people discover you’re really a 25-year-old woman with the countenance of a teenager, you suddenly become the enemy–a lobotomized creature that cannot function without the support of their smartphone. To most companies, I am not an individual, but one of many. I am just another piece in a puzzle they cannot seem to solve.
When it comes to customer service, retailers are constantly searching for new techniques to personalize the shopping experience, catering to the specific individual, not the masses. However, this modern mindset seems to fly out the window when we speak about Millennials. This group of young consumers–myself included–rarely seems to warrant the same attention, as we are seen as a single entity, one often deemed mysterious, narcissistic, and lazy. Yet, while this definition appears to be widely accepted, what most retailers fail to recognize is that these descriptors apply to nearly the entire population. (Especially the lazy part!)