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Customer Experience from a Wheelchair

What an interesting experience my mom and I had in a local store the other day. This store generally has great customer service. Staff greet customers right when they walk in, and for the most part, engage with customers helping them find what they need. Mom, who was in a wheelchair, needed something this business offers so off we went to do some shopping. #supportlocal

Double Your Small Business Income

When talking with Emily Reed, Gorge Tourism Alliance, the other morning, brainstorming about other videos I could record for the Power of People Academy (online training for front line staff), she made a statement that was one of those palm-to-forehead slap moments.

She stated the obvious but, for some reason it hadn’t landed in such a ‘Captain Obvious’ manner before that morning.

When people shop with an attendant, whether that be

  • an adult child with an elderly parent
  • a caregiver with their charge
  • a parent with their kid

the business is getting a ‘two for one’ type deal. It’s an opportunity to serve well AND make the business more income.

Statistics show that when shopping with kids, people spend nearly 35% more money. ~Shannon Handy, CBS8

The Wall Street Journal’s recent article titled, “The U.S. Economy’s Secret Weapon: Seniors with Money to Spend” notes that Americans 65 and older account for a record share of spending and are less susceptible to interest rates.

Why did Emily’s statement resonate with me like a palm to forehead smack? I suppose because when I am taking mom shopping I’m focusing on HER getting something. It didn’t really dawn on me that I was a shopper too.

Am I a shopper too? Heck yes! NEARLY EVERY TIME I take mom out she makes a purchase, and I make a purchase.

Making Customer Service Uncomfortable

So, what happened to mom and I when I took her into the local store with these normally friendly, interactive staff members?

My observation was interesting and surprising! The staff talked to me, not my mom. They tended to avoid eye contact with her.

SO interesting! Mom is otherwise quite fine and very social. She was just in a wheelchair.

Honestly I don’t think the staff even realized what s/he was doing.

The fix is simple but has to be intentional.

Just talking about to staff, sharing this story during a weekly staff meeting, raises awareness and improves three areas:

  • staff comfort
  • customer experience
  • consumer spending

Do Weekly Meetings Make You Cringe?

Would you like to effortlessly start conversations like this?

There’s a tool created just for you!

Creating a Culture Deck contains a year’s worth of weekly education and conversation cards to support your staff in giving excellent customer experiences.

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