JCK Magazine Urges Retailers to "Serve with Style"

JCK Magazine: February 2013
Today I was reading various newsletters and blogs, as part of my morning ritual, and I came across a very interesting, well-written and well-researched article that first appeared on JCK Magazine.  It is now available for all to read on JCK's website (http://www.jckonline.com/2013/02/03/luxury-retailers-on-service-style).  Despite being a jewelry magazine, in this article JCK writes about outstanding retailers in other industries that are outperforming their competitors and the general retail industry by focusing on providing superior service and outstanding customer experiences. 

In this blog, I am constantly pushing retailers to re-examine and improve their own operations paying particular attention to those same aspects.  Therefore, I think that sharing some of the information in that article could be very beneficial for retailers in all industries.  Here are some excerpts:

"Anecdotal evidence from varying luxury businesses is strikingly similar: Post-recession, the well-heeled consumer is placing superior craftsmanship, quality materials, and—especially—customer service ahead of products that are seen as status-enhancing."

"According to a December 2012 survey by the New York City–based Luxury Institute, which teamed up with the Lincoln Motor Co., more than 80 percent of affluent Americans say that superior craftsmanship and materials tip the scales when it comes to buying decisions. Their third most important consideration is superior customer service both during and after the sale, according to 76 percent of the respondents."

"Today’s luxury experience is personal, says Greg Furman, founder and chairman of the New York City–based Luxury ­Marketing Council. “Most wealthy Americans are working-class kids like me—90 percent of wealthy individuals have corporate jobs,” he says. “Only 10 percent have inherited money. The growth [consists] of primarily working class who have risen by their own bootstraps. And now that they’ve made it, they want to purchase goods in a sophisticated, experiential way.”

“What we hear consistently and loudly from wealthy consumers is that the manner in which the goods are sold, as well as the service provided after the sale, is nearly as important as the product themselves,” says Luxury Institute founder and CEO Milton Pedraza."

"Technology advances are increasingly enabling employees to keep track of details as well to better target marketing efforts—information such as what customers have bought in the past, how they want to be reached, and at what level of frequency. Everybody from salespeople to front-line employees who interact with the client must be included in the conversation."

I would urge you to read the complete article to learn the successful strategies of brands like Lincoln, Park Hyatt, Flexjet and Steinway & Sons.  You can find it at this link: http://www.jckonline.com/2013/02/03/luxury-retailers-on-service-style.

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