Amid the push to make doing business faster and easier for consumers, one retailer has suggested this is overlooking a key aspect of the customer experience.
Instead of treating customers like cattle to get them in, get their money and get them out as quickly as possible, homewares retailer Adam Drexler, owner of Matt Blatt, says businesses – especially retailers – should actually look to entertain their customers.
“We like to think of ourselves in the entertainment business. People come into our stores and they have fun,” Mr Drexler said.
“We have pinball machines in the business, we have TVs for kids to watch cartoons while their parents shop, we have a chocolate wheel you can spin, win a prize, you know a $20 gift voucher.
“I often, just for fun, sit in a chair near the front door and watch new customers [who] haven’t been into our showroom before, haven’t connected with our business: they come in and their jaws drop. They look around, they see all these colours and all these funny things happening there and they get excited, they become happy. I feel we’re entertaining them.”
Another simple experience he recalls is from the company’s new showroom in Balgowlah on Sydney’s northern beaches.
“This showroom is on two levels, and there’s a lift. It’s a goods lift but it’s also a disabled lift, so it’s quite a big lift and it’s people-friendly … I said to the manager, ‘We should be putting furniture in this lift. Put a sofa there and a couple of prints above it, a table lamp next to it’,” he said.
“When a customer goes in this lift, it’s going to be a lift like they’e never been in ever before.”
It is this role in making shopping an entertaining and fun experience, rather than a chore, that Mr Drexler attributes to the continuing success of his business despite a much-publicised malaise in the broader retail industry.
“We’re connecting with our customers on a different level to maybe other retailers,” he said.
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Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.