Retailer Shows Stellar Service Creates More Sales

I hate to shop. I’m an in-between size and find it difficult to find what looks good at a reasonable price.

Years ago I discovered the services of department store personal shoppers. They don’t cost anything for their services and aren’t high pressure. In fact, I’ve found they actually save me time, money, and many headaches. And I generally walk out of the store with items that fit and I can use.

For my appointment with Macy’s San Francisco executive personal shopper Lea Perez yesterday, I sent her my size, colors and info on what I was looking for. When I arrived, she’d gathered a dozen outfits in my size and colors. She had them neatly displayed in a large, well-lit, nice dressing room — much different than the often unkempt public ones.

While I tried on the items, Lea got a sense of what worked for me and pulled another dozen for my consideration. She freely said, “That doesn’t work” as well as pointing out what did. She was never hard sell.

We spent two hours trying different pieces and determining several travel and presentation outfits. She advised which pieces needed altering.

Lea looked out for not only my image, but my wallet. Many of the pieces she brought were on sale. Plus when I made my purchases she used coupons to get the best deal, creating three different transactions for the maximum discounts.

When the store didn’t have a dress I saw online, she ordered it for me and waived the shipping fee. She even honored the online Macy’s price on another item when the store’s price was higher.

And she validated my parking at the expensive downtown garage.

I realize this is different than most shoppers’ experience at a large chain retailer. In fact, I’d shopped at a different Macy’s the week before and was frustrated at how hard it was to find what I was looking for. Which is why I was prompted to make the appointment with Lea.

Did I spend more than I’d anticipated? Only a little bit. But I got many more garments than I imagined for that price. Lea created a very satisfied customer. I think I’ll now only use a personal shopper!

How could your organization use the concepts of the Macy’s personal shopper program?

  • Look at eliminating a distasteful part of your customers’ experience (like hunting for clothes and parking fees) to encourage them to buy more or more often.
  • Make sure to go out of your way to give them all the discounts for which they can qualify.
  • Often the lack of hard sell creates more sales. Encourage your sales people to tell your customers what isn’t a good choice for them and they will be more open to suggestions of additional products.