5 Excellent Experiences

Not enough people write/talk about excellent experiences in my opinion. It seems its much easier to write negatively about poor quality & service than it is to praise people. This is such a shame – if you read and hear negative comments everywhere then its going to have a negative impact on your own attitude. Today, I want to tell you about 5 excellent experiences I’ve had recently – perhaps you and your business can learn from these and maybe even implement some changes which will see real positive impact for you.

1). Apple Shop – Exeter – Ok so it doesn’t need to be Exeter but that’s the one I go to regularly. From the moment you walk in the door you are greeted by two members of staff, this makes you feel welcome and in the mood for buying…how easy is that for a retail business!ย  Then, if you’ve not been to a store before, on your first purchase, you find that you can pay for your goods with any of the roving shop assistants – yes you don’t even have to walk to a till anymore (and they email you your receipt)! I’d urge anyone that’s not been to an Apple shop, even if you’re not an apple fan to go in and experience the whole model – I believe that any business owner can learn a lot from Apple and the store model is really quite something.

2). Reiss – Exeter – I popped into Reiss the other day to look around. Admittedly there were only a few people in the store but the member of staff gave me his full attention and rather than the boring, typical, ‘are you ok there’ and getting the just as typical ‘yeah I’m just looking’ response he started to suggest what might look good on me and what goes with other things I’d shown an interest in. He asked what sort of thing I was looking for and then helped me with suggestions – needless to say, he made a sale! It constantly amazes me how many staff in retail shops are from the same mold – if you want to make sales, differentiate yourself and watch your numbers go sky high. In this case, I was so impressed with this guy that I purposely asked for the manager of the store and told her about how well treated I’d been and how good a member of staff that guy was – I just hope it made it back to him.

3). Appliance Care – Exeter – Some say that if you take your broken TV to a centre like this then you expect to have it repaired ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I agree, but it was the circumstances around this visit that amazed me. Samsung suggested I used this independent company. They didn’t know I was turning up. I arrived at about 9:30am on a busy Monday morning and they asked me to leave the TV with them. To be honest I thought it was likely to be gone a day or two but at 11am I had a phone call saying, ‘Mr Banks, your TV is ready’ – Awesome.

4). The Georgian Townhouse – Newark – When I’m travelling on business I’m not fussy about where I stay – generally I’ll get to my destination late, be up early and off again. All I need is a clean place to put my head with breakfast in the morning and decent parking. I travelled up to Newark this week to see a client near Nottingham and Linda, my PA, booked me into a Georgian townhouse. It was absolutely lovely! All the little details had been thought of: outstanding quality beds, amazing linen, spotless/minimalist decor, a breakfast fit for a king with a choice of everything you could imagine, a communal room for working/reading in (which I used in the morning), bottles of mineral water in the room when you arrived, good quality soaps and shampoos (not that cheap tat you often get) and lovely hosts. That night (B & B) cost me just ยฃ65! I will now tell everyone I know going to Nottingham/Newark to stay there and all because of the small details….look out for them in your business, they can mean the difference between someone passing your name on or not.

5). Giraffe – Exeter (and other outlets) I enjoy dining at Giraffe in Exeter – Its one of my favourite choices for coffee if meeting people and the food is great if you want to eat as well. However, its not so much the experience of the outlet I want to mention today – its the experience of the marketing that Giraffe’s (obviously clued up team) carry out. They have embraced the power of the web for one – They have a great website and twitter feed (where they actually engage with their customer base). They understand the power of email marketing, regularly sending out offers for dining – two for ones are not uncommon. Most of the guys in my office subscribe to these updates and when the offers come in, the guys are out the door and down to the local outlet for a spot of lunch – that’s what its all about. I tell you what, there are not very many places doing this kind of thing out there, lets hope more wise up to this clever and cost effective marketing soon. Well done Giraffe ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you’ve found my top 5 excellent experiences fun and useful – I would strongly suggest that you see if any of these ideas can be rolled out in your business and one day, someone like me, might just blog about you – After all, if you have a website you want to get listed in the search engines, you’ll know its all about the link juice baby! ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Nick Watson on 27th November 2009 at 11:43 am

    I do agree with you that a great customer service is vital for sales.

    The problem I have, is sometimes the sales reps can be “too helpful” if there is such a thing. I would feel intimidated by 2 people approaching me upon entrance to a shop, I’m the type of person that likes to get on with the research and evaluation of products myself…I guess it varies from person to person, a good sales rep would be able to identify what type of person a customer is and then decide whether to approach them or not.

    When I’m out for a meal, I like a waiter/waitress that asks if everything is ok with my meal, but a while ago I was at a restaurant and this would literally be every couple of minutes – I found that annoying!

    • Banksy on 27th November 2009 at 11:50 am

      Fair points Mr Watson – One size certainly doesn’t fit all. The greeters in the Apple shop merely say hello to you, they don’t impress themselves on you any further than that. It’s just a nice entrance to have – probably should have made that clearer in my post ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Nick Watson on 27th November 2009 at 12:38 pm

        That is a good service then ๐Ÿ™‚

        At my Dads garage one year, I put a welcome mat that spoke “Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas” to you when you walked on it through the door…now THAT’S a greeting!
        Slightly annoying after a while though!

  2. Jed Langdon on 27th November 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Good post Banksy. I too believe that there aren’t enough people out there writing about the excellent and positive customer service experiences they receive. It always seems to be the doom and gloom that people want to share.

    I completely agree with numbers 1 and 2 and have always been impressed with the service given in Apple and Reiss stores and also with the passion of the staff, who clearly believe in the products they are selling. That said, I sometimes think it is easier for “high-end” or luxury brands to deliver excellent customer service as it is in-line with their core offering and easier to get their staff passionate about the products they are selling. I imagine that a large proportion of staff were advocates of the products before they even started working in their stores.

    I think it is testimant to these two stores that I often find myself “popping in” for a wander around, even if I don’t have the money to buy anything, just because they have created such a nice, friendly atmosphere. This might not be what they are aiming for initially, as they don’t make a sale every time I go in, but they will certainly be among the first places I go when I do have something in mind….which has paid off for them well in the long run!

    • Banksy on 27th November 2009 at 3:48 pm

      Very good point re: aligning with their brand and having the advocates before. I guess it is much harder in less ‘high-end’ outlets, although Im sure its not impossible given the right training. I would like to see much more of this through the retail industry if possible.

  3. Vince on 27th November 2009 at 3:16 pm

    “From the moment you walk in the door you are greeted by two members of staff,”

    I’m not sure this is always “great” depending on the customer. It’s not that it’s apple doing it, I hate it *anywhere*

    I don’t want to be bothered or questioned. I’ts only one step away from cold calling in my view and immediately makes me leave a store.

    • Banksy on 27th November 2009 at 3:51 pm

      Hey Vince, always important to have both sides of the story my friend. As I pointed out to Nick earlier in the comments, these guys don’t jump on you at the door and try and sell, they merely say hello. Now I’d be very surprised if you thought that was intrusive (in my manor I’d call it politeness) but then hey, im here to be surprised ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Vince on 28th November 2009 at 12:51 am

        Sure, a “hello” isn’t a problem. I haven’t first hand experience of Apples way of doing things and it’s very unlikely I will either since I have zero interest in anything they sell.

        I have even less when I see how ultimately uninterested they are in green issues. Why every screen, phone and background lcd & plasma is on 24/7 is beyond me. Is it that useful at 3am?

  4. Caroline Bosher on 27th November 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Hey Banksy

    Totally agree with you – I’ve recently started stopping to take a photo and chat to staff (usually the manager) in stores I think offer something ‘remarkable’ so I can write an article about them.

    Today it was a designer looking food shop with free wifi, self serve touch screens and projected wall images called ‘Food Secret’ (www.foodsecret.com).

    Just a walk through Carnaby Street shows how easy it is to find innovative, and often free, ways to differentiate and add something โ€˜remarkableโ€™ to your service offering so you get talked about โ€“ in a good way!

    Hereโ€™s to collecting more purple cows ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Banksy on 29th November 2009 at 3:43 pm

      Very cool indeed Caroline – I’m thinking about making this post more regular so perhaps we could guest blog for each other? Its been my most visited post so far ๐Ÿ™‚

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