Inside view: Adding the wow factor to customer care

Katy Devlin
September 8, 2008
RETAIL : SALES

On a stormy day in July, I found myself with video camera in hand at the Designed Glass showroom in Burnsville, Minn. Co-owner Erica Chandler gave me a tour of the showroom that was only briefly halted due to an unpredictable Midwest thunderstorm (a storm that unleashed a bit of hail, cut power and sent us to the back for safety). The video tour also was intermittently interrupted by several customers, who obviously took priority. Through observing these interactions, I started to understand how a showroom shapes the customer experience. And, I started to learn a little bit about what Chandler calls the "wow factor."

"Customers get the wow factor in a showroom," she says. "They are able to touch and feel and know what they're getting. That wow factor starts upon entering the showroom to see a well-organized display of glass applications, from the more ordinary to the extraordinary, and continues through personal interaction."

One couple came into the showroom shortly after I arrived. They had already worked with Chandler on making plans for a new shower enclosure but wanted to check out the glass options one more time. In the showroom, they were able to view samples and look at the shower displays to make sure they were getting the exact product they wanted.

"Having a showroom impacts the customer experience tremendously," Chandler says. "It allows them to touch and feel, see and know what they're getting-see all the options of shower doors, handles, and match them to colors."

The showroom also provides an important place for face-to-face communication with customers before and after a job. During the tour, another customer came in with product care questions for her recently installed glass shower. Chandler guided her through the care procedures, and the customer left satisfied, commenting on how rare it was to come into a business and bring questions directly to the owner.

Other glass shop owners have said their showrooms serve as crucial aspect of their business as they work with customers. Write me at kdevlin@glass.org to talk about the wow factor at your showroom. See Page 72 to read an article about upselling in showrooms.

Katy Devlin is editor for Glass Magazine. E-mail Katy at kdevlin@glass.org.