Recently, I had a memorable experience at a shopping mall with my 7-year-old daughter.
It got me thinking about how retailers should create special moments for not just their customers, but everyone who comes in.
Back-to-school shopping is a cherished annual event for my daughter and me. It’s something I remember when I was her age and it’s an exciting time that brings anticipation for the year ahead.
Here’s why it’s so important for retailers to focus on building loyalty moments with everyone, regardless of age.
Your Youngest Shoppers Can Be Your Biggest Brand Advocates
My daughter’s affinity for our mother-daughter day is because her love of fashion grows with each passing year.
I promised that “little brother” would not be in attendance and that this day would be about her and that I would only need to pick up a few quick items from two stores – I pinky swear.
We arrived at the mall and visited several age appropriate pre-tween stores. At each one my daughter ran inside and found the first glittery thing that caught her attention.
And each time she is wide-eyed and says, “OMG Mommy! I SO NEED THIS.”
I thought: “I am pretty sure you are seven and don’t need that, but I’ll give in this one time because today is about special moments and mommy-daughter bonding.”
Kudos to the store associates because they know their target audience and understand these moments are special for the child and the parent is most likely going to give in.
They strategically place the glittery things around the store so that my daughter can remain entertained while I complete my mommy duty to purchase a fall wardrobe for her and, in turn, my AOV goes up.
Sampling Perfume and Approaches to Customer Service
Once we’re done, we venture to the first of two stores for mommy: A popular beauty/cosmetics store.
We walk into this store and my daughter thinks she is in a beauty Disneyland. I am there to pick up a bottle of perfume only to find that (yikes!) the store doesn’t have any of it in stock.
OK Graziella, remain calm. Let’s see if there is another fragrance that interests you.
I sampled a few and my daughter was very excited to assist in my selection — and is being very well behaved. There is one perfume that I am on the fence about.
Do I want to spend $100 on a bottle of perfume not knowing how I will feel about it an hour later? There are a few associates walking around, but no one came to assist. That’s fine, I am not one that needs to be tended to.
Then another woman picks up a bottle of perfume and an associate quickly tends to her and provides her a sample bottle to take home with her.
I thought to myself: “A sample bottle … perfect! If I like it, I will order online later tonight.”
I asked the store associate for one. She provided it to me quickly with little interaction. This was quite different from the level of service she had provided the customer before me.
Why Was This Customer Service Experience Different?
I’d been in this store before and received great customer service so what was different? I could not help but think that it had something to do with the little person I had in tow.
I bet they didn’t know how much this day meant to us, what this moment meant to my daughter.
They didn’t know how much it would have meant to me to receive some type of recognition that, as a mom, I enjoy sharing this type of shopping with my daughter.
And that, as a mom, I have little time to shop and so the fact that I am here in the first place is a big deal!
I bet they didn’t think about the fact that, in some years from now, we will be coming to this store for my daughter. But based on this recent experience, will my daughter even remember or want to come into this store?
I did not purchase any perfume at this store but picked up some shampoo/conditioner and we went on our way.
A Loyalty Moment My Daughter Will Cherish Forever
We went to a nearby department store to buy the fragrance I wanted. The associate at the fragrance counter quickly welcomed us, recognizing my daughter and our shopping bags, and made small talk about the fun of back-to-school shopping.
My daughter’s face lit up!
When we got in the car, my daughter talked about our day and the stores we visited (all but one – can you guess which?). She talked a lot about the department store and the associate that helped us.
She wanted to know why this associate was so friendly and talked to us like she knew us. My response was that this associate did a good job of getting to know her customer and created a loyalty moment for us.
This associate understood the importance of the moment. She understood that if she created a memorable experience, that we’d likely be back to replenish the bottle of perfume in a few months. She sensed I was a busy mom.
The associate gave me her card and told me to save myself a trip and call her the next time I needed more, and she’d ship it right to me–kudos to the department store for making my life easier!
I will remember this moment and so will my daughter.
Here’s why in-store associates are on of your biggest assets.
Create Loyalty Moments With Everyone
In the days that followed, I thought a lot about this shopping trip.
I thought about the loyalty moments and what each store did well and what they could have done better.
What if there was a mom-daughter loyalty program?
What if this cosmetics store created a section for “future” divas?
Did they know or care that my daughter is their future target audience?
In-store shopping is so much more than the merchandise. It’s about the people and the experience.
Creating loyalty moments is where the customer experience grows from and that’s why consumers will join premium loyalty programs.
According to our 2019 Premium Loyalty Study, nearly 70% of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult for a retailer to maintain than ever before.
So, the pressure is on retailers to earn customer loyalty through a series of connected moments.
Every interaction a brand has with a consumer is a big opportunity to create a loyalty moment. These moments spark emotional connections with consumers and build long-term loyalty and brand advocacy.
Delivering memorable customer experiences will create loyalty moments that impact lifetime value.
My daughter and me experienced both sides of the loyalty moments equation during our back-to-school shopping day.
It’s amazing how uniquely different those two experiences were and how impactful attention and kindness can be for any retailer.
Don’t you want to be the retailer that your smaller future customers remember?