We visited a local First Watch – a breakfast and lunch cafe/restaurant – for Mother’s Day. Besides waiting in line for about 50 minutes, which was expected on such a day, the server added a nice little touch to the day. They gave a small box of chocolates – from Russell Stovers – to my wife at the end of the meal. It probably cost them relatively little per box for as many boxes that they must have bought but certainly a simple but wonderful little gesture to make.
A key task of retailers is to develop various ways of engaging customers. Walmart announced this week that they are reintroducing greeters at the doors which had been a mainstay of the company for decades. In fact, it was the brainchild of the company’s founder – Sam Walton. Part of this is to help reduce “shrinkage” – or inventory theft – but certainly another important part is that very simple engagement at the door. How do you feel when you go into a Starbucks and the person knows what you normally buy and maybe even your name? A young lady at the local Jimmy John’s – near my office – knows my name. Perhaps that isn’t good as I probably go there too often but it is still a nice touch.
So, when our server handed this little box of chocolates to my wife for Mother’s Day, it is another one of these little details that make a big difference in the retailing environment. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there – including Angie!
I am the Director of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona and the PetSmart Professor of Practice. I am very passionate about teaching, being a Dad, barbecue and chocolate – not necessarily in that order.