Amazon didn’t kill brick and mortar stores, lack of Customer centric selling did. As corporations became more about the dollar and cost cutting models and less about the customer service, they killed themselves. Over the top difficult return policies. Difficulty of special ordering products for fear of being stuck with it. Impossible payment procedures, cleanliness, constant up-selling, lack of options and more has turned the consumer off. In fact, you will pay $59.00 per year just to avoid it!!
Remember when getting gas was a “thing” you pulled up , there was a smile on the service guys face , they asked how you were, cleaned the windows, pumped the gas and sent you on your way?? (You have seen it on the hallmark channel don’t lie) Remember when you had a charge account at the co-op and you basically just went in grabbed what you needed off the shelf and held it up on your way out and they billed you??(I was a farm boy) Shopping was easy.
Amazon didn’t revolutionize anything, they made shopping easy, clean and customer driven just like it used to be. Amazon didn’t reinvent anything they were smart enough to know that service, selection and ease, brings products and customers. All they did was remove the roadblock of bad customer service, lack of customer driven sales, constant up-selling, lack of training for associates, bad managers and impossible return policies. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone they decided to be the most customer service driven marketer in the world on one thing then perfecting another thing, then another and another and then everything…..
Associates don’t like being at work, because managers hate managing them, because corporations, lawsuits and boards have had their hands tied to provide real customer service and the consumers felt it. All amazon did is put that behind the veil of the internet, went back to basic-all-in-customer-service and then they made the associate love to work there. After all, how easy is it to work retail in a situation where the customer is always right??? Heck any associate at Amazon can put a smile on someone’s face at any moment. (Wait a smile logo?? Hmmm) Imagine walking out of Walmart dropping your grocery sack breaking all the eggs in the sack and Walmart just gives you a pack of eggs for free because you explained what happened?!?!?
It is proven that a perfect social interaction with a well-trained associate almost bonds you to your consumer. Take off the restraints of your team to provide customer service as they feel it needs done. (Train them HOW to handle it) Deal with the consumer like amazon does and then add the social Interaction and you will win. The cost of the widget is not the driving factor.
God help us when amazon gets their brick and mortar stores opened with quality, trained personnel and customer driven policies .. brick and mortar will be alive again… anyone ever heard of the sears??
Now there is one way to beat amazon, will they open brick and mortar stores? Maybe not, it has only taken them 14 years to make a profit selling on the internet. How will they handle all the overhead associated with Brick and Mortar stores? They won’t!! but maybe, just maybe you can beat them by implementing customer centric selling and customer service again? Try that and see what happens.