DIR Oct. 2017 Editor’s Note: Take a Walk

DIR Oct. 2017 Editor’s Note: Take a Walk


As a retailer, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a business—from product selection and credit issues to employee needs and running a retail operation. I’m sure there is hardly a day when you can sit back and say, “Nothing to worry about here! We got this! I’m going to take a walk!”

Jerry Grossman

But every so often, it’s a good idea to jump out of the day to day and put yourself in the mind-set of your customers. What happens when they first consider buying a camera or lens or accessory, or anything else you offer them?

In my Strategy Session this month, I explore “The Customer Journey.” This is the process that customers go through from the time they consider a purchase to the day after they complete the purchase. I decided to share this thinking because it’s so relevant to today’s battle with online retailers and the challenge of drawing customers into your store.

The journey is about touch points. The best way to explore it is to walk into any retail location (or onto any website) and think about all the things that can either go very right or very wrong along the journey.

For example, think about walking into a Starbucks. Consider how the mood of the person taking your order can either leave you smiling with satisfaction or grimacing from a negative experience. How long did it take to make your grande caffè latte mocha with Splenda? Were the tables clean? Was the milk carafe full? Was your barista pleasant? How about the food, was it fresh? Moreover, did you walk out the door smiling?

Each touch point is a reflection on your total experience. Now think about walking into a consumer electronics store or a local retailer and take in that experience. Who’s doing it right and who can do it better? And how can you do it better in your store?

Sometimes taking a walk can go a long way in gaining new perspectives.