“A Baltimore shoe salesman recently provided a valuable lesson in how simple gestures can create extraordinary experiences for our customers and clients.”
I buy my shoes at Allen Edmonds. They look great, last forever and, importantly to me, are made in America. Allen Edmonds recently opened a store in Baltimore. Before that, I had to purchase my shoes online or when traveling to a city with a store. Just the other day, I went into the new Baltimore store in search of dress shoes, and I was wearing a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes that I purchased on a trip to New York last winter. The fellow working with me commented that the shoes I had on were the wrong size and appeared smaller than they should be. Immediately, he offered to replace them with the same shoes, but in the right size—even though I had worn them for almost a year.
Bear in mind, this clerk had no knowledge of who I was or of how many pairs of Allen Edmonds’ shoes I had purchased in the past, yet he provided extraordinary service I will remember long after my shoes wear out.
His simple gesture made me feel special and valued as a customer. What’s significant about this story is not that he offered me something for free. It’s that he was so uncomfortable—actually embarrassed—by the fact that his company’s product had not been properly fitted, that it didn’t work as intended, that he was inspired to immediately take steps to correct it. We speak every day of creating extraordinary experiences for our residents, partners, clients, vendors and employees. But what does that mean? Consider how my experience buying shoes shows how simple gestures work to create loyal customers.
As representatives of Bozzuto, we must strive to make everyone with whom we come in contact feel valued and important. Small acts of kindness matter: Holding a door, complimenting a tie, inquiring about a family member. At the very least, but perhaps most importantly, remembering a name. It’s not enough to provide good service in all the expected ways. Many businesses do that, and no one is talking about them. No one talks about the expected.
We, on the other hand, aim for the extraordinary. The extraordinary is the unexpected. The extraordinary means pushing your creative limits, finding solutions that fall outside the playbook. Extraordinary experiences surprise customers and get them talking. They catch people off guard—the way that shoe clerk completely shocked me with his gesture of replacing my wrongsized shoes. I considered this gesture unnecessary. To him, it was a must.
Every Bozzuto experience should be executed with the customer’s needs in mind. We must surprise, delight and always put our residents first. Every encounter, every engagement and every experience should say to our residents, “You are very, very important to us.”
Because of the actions of one shoe salesman who cared enough to make me feel special, I will always buy my shoes from Allen Edmonds. I will tell my friends to buy these shoes. Heck, I’m telling all of you who read this to buy from Allen Edmonds. His simple gesture created a customer for life. Unknowingly, he was living the Bozzuto values.
And, if at all possible, I will soon figure out a way to hire this fellow.Learn more about Tom Bozzuto