You may be asking, what in the world does an American Girl Doll Store have to do with in-home sales in the home improvement and services industry? Short answer, EVERYTHING!!! Follow me on this idea.
No matter the vertical in which you compete, competition is now fiercer than ever to win consumer dollars. Windows/Roofing/Baths/HVAC/Plumbing/Whatever. Every manufacturer has the greatest product made & best warranty available according to their website! They don’t even need those extended warranty sales people like the car industry to call all the time – they sell it right on the front end. That should tell you something!
Every company has the greatest sales process used & production team on staff, just ask them. Companies have Super Service Award this, Best in Class that. It is hard for a consumer to figure out who is the Real McCoy anymore. Coupling that fact with the internet making it easier than ever to get multiple bids from quality contractors, it is hard to differentiate yourself in this environment & have your client genuinely hear how your team can help.
That brings us to the question, how do you receive full value for your work while standing out in such a competitive environment? From what I have seen, providing a premier customer experience is the hands down winner & that is what brings us to the American Girl store.
We went to Chicago recently & took my daughter to the American Girl store as her early birthday present. Now, we could have just given my daughter an American Girl doll from any number of vendors. Google ‘American Girl Doll’, you will see all the regular players. Amazon/Target/Wal-Mart/etc.
Does that sound familiar to you? A consumer looking for a product, then there are 3-4 vendors that can provide that to them. What becomes the tipping point for which one to use? Price? If that is the case, Amazon/Target/Wal-Mart are almost indistinguishable. A dollar saved here or free shipping there, but nothing that really makes any of the three stand out over the other one.
That brings us to The American Girl Doll store. I could have used any of the 3 options mentioned above for my daughter to get ‘Nicki’, but we chose to invest in the experience my baby girl received at The American Girl Doll Store.
We walk in & are immediately drawn to the displays that not only show the various dolls in their theme, it shows all the accessories & even provides product cards to easily identify all the items in the display for purchase. Wow!! Let’s show the consumer all there is to offer & make it easier to purchase. Sounds like a winner to me!
The entire first floor was set up in this manner, which is a pretty amazing experience in & of itself. We then go to the second floor of The American Girl Doll store to really see where ‘experience’ starts to set in. There is a doll hospital, a soda shop, & even a salon. Your daughter can actually get their hair & nails done in the exact same manner as your doll. (I mean if you are going to have matching outfits for your daughter & doll, you must get the matching hair & nails to go with it!)
Now that we have selected the perfect doll (Nicki) with all the accessories, our family checked in for our lunch reservations at The American Girl Doll restaurant. Again, the thoughtfulness put into this experience is second to none! The restaurant provided a booster chair for the doll along with her own plate, cup & utensils. My daughter had a smile from ear to ear as she cut up grapes for Nicki to have with us with her provided tableware.
The lunch itself was executed to perfection. One price for everything, all courses are included with a set appetizer & dessert option. You just picked from one of 9 lunch options and they all tasted amazing, so the entire experience was truly second to none. Easy choices that were all perfectly executed, just amazing!
What does all this have to do with in-home sales? E-consultancy & Adobe conducted a joint study that found 87% of consumers said they are willing to pay more for a product or service if there was a great experience involved. That is exactly what my family did. We could have just bought the doll from one of the previously mentioned vendors, but the experience my daughter had for her birthday is something that no Amazon box will deliver
The American Girl Doll store expanded their footprint with doll repair, hair & nail offers along with the restaurant experience. They expanded their share of my wallet by ensuring that my daughter had a memorable experience every step of the way.
How do you stand out & differentiate yourself in such a competitive market? Customer Experience!! Customer experience will build trust with your client, it will make your client expand their job scope & become a repeat client and be the leading source of referrals to your business. Ask yourself: How does my team create an amazing experience? Or even better, how can I reward my customers (hint-hint) with an experience they will remember forever – like a vacation?
Look at the pictures of my daughter & her experience. If you can provide those smiles & experiences to your clients, you have truly earned a client for life.