Entrepreneurship can be both rewarding and humbling, all at the same time. Learning how to start, run, and sustain a business without a safety net is not for the faint of heart and is one of the main reasons most never make the leap. Getting through those early struggles of starting a business provides such an unexplainable level of reward, and with every day that passes, you learn more about yourself and what it takes to be successful.
To build a successful business, you need to do many things right; some will come naturally, and some will be learned the hard way. However, no matter what field your business is in, there is something you should prioritize from the beginning: providing a high-energy customer experience.
In our store, we live by the motto: “We bring people and nature together… and we do it with excellence!”. This is the key to our success. To succeed in a retail business, you must do things that separate you from your competitors. We offer a high-end product that emphasizes providing the customer with an excellent dose of joy and lack of frustration in their hobby. Still, the reality is that it is only a matter of time before competitors learn to mimic your product and potentially offer it at a thinner margin, which can be the case within many industries.
So, how else do we separate ourselves? With a high-energy customer experience. In our store, catering to that high-energy experience means a lot of different things. Understanding the customers’ experience from parking their car in the parking lot to being helped with their items to the vehicle. Every aspect of the customer experience is noted and tailored to be a memorable experience every time.
In our business, we specialize in nature and bringing nature to customers’ yards, so we cater our in-store experience to match the relaxing vibe our customers seek when they partake in their hobby. Our store is well accessible, well lit, strategically painted, laid out, and decluttered to provide a relaxing shopping experience. To go with the layout, our store is always clean, smells refreshing, and has bird sounds lightly playing in the background – not loud music.
When customers enter our store, they are kindly greeted and asked how they are doing – we don’t ask them why they are there, but kindly assist them if they need it. We focus strongly on understanding the hobby and provide second-to-none advice and recommendations when customers request it. We aim never to linger or be pushy but to be there when the customer needs help and pick up on subtle queues when a customer may need assistance.
When the customer has purchased their product, we consider recommending additional things they may need to save them a trip back. When the transaction is complete, we always offer to help bring their items to their vehicle and place them in their car in a way that will be easiest for them to take out at home. So, when they get home, they will think of us. While all these day-to-day practices of catering to the customer go a long way in providing that high-energy customer experience, one thing to me that is second to none and will give you a customer for life is relationship building.
Not every customer will want to chat and let you get to know them on a deeper level; however, we have regular customers come in sometimes every week, and being kind, thoughtful, and building relationships with them keeps them coming back. We receive feedback constantly about the service we provide and the people we are to our customers, and they state it is why they support our business. These individual relationships will all look different, but when customers come to our store, they receive more than just a product to take home that they likely can get somewhere closer to their house. Still, they are receiving a high-energy customer experience. This experience is the backbone of our success and the most important aspect of my business.
Guest Post | Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop is a locally owned and operated store in Kamloops. They provide the highest quality bird-feeding products, backed with expert advice to help bring the joy of bird feeding into backyards.