Tuesday, April 13, 2010

100 Years Of Customer Service...

Last week, Miss Jackson's, here, in Tulsa, OK, celebrated their 100th anniversary! 100 years in business! Think about that....that is a LONG time! How many businesses do you know, specifically, a specialty retail store, that has been in business for 100 years? THAT is very impressive!

The original "Miss Jackson" was Nelle Shields Jackson. She was the founder of the specialty retail store that still exists today in Utica Square. According to the Tulsa World article, last Thursday, it simply states that "she wanted to make people's lives more beautiful and enjoyable". What a simple concept!

Nelle took that concept and then took it one step further by offering EXCEPTIONAL customer service. I mean, EXCEPTIONAL! It wasn't just walking into the store and having someone say "May I help you?" It was more than that! It was about creating a culture that it was the "norm" to be treated like royalty, by having a personal shopping assistant within the store. The same person that you would work with EVERY TIME you came into the store. The person that knew your styles and tastes. The person that would call you the minute a garment came in that screamed your name. The person that knew you would LOVE IT before you even saw it! They would, also, take your coat, provide you a place to sit, and offer you something to drink.

Because of the excellent customer service and their pride in offering higher end designer names that aren't offered anywhere else in town, is what has kept them in business for this long. It became a tradition for generations of families to shop at Miss Jackson's. Great-Grandma shops there, Grandma shops there, Mother shops there...you see where I'm going with this! It has continued to live through the cycles of the economy, because of those families. The families that made Miss Jackson's a tradition.

Think about this for a minute, how many stores do you go into today and the store personnel know your name? Or they know your mother's name or grandmother's name? How many even ask you if you need help these days? How many offer you a chair and something to drink while they show you what they have available in the store? What happened to the days of good customer service? Scratch that....what happened to the days of EXCEPTIONAL customer service?

With the economy these days, businesses, specifically retail businesses, come and go on a very regular basis. So, what's the trick to Miss Jackson's? Why, as a specialty retail store, have they been able to stand the test of time?

My belief is this...they cater to their customer. They cater to their clients. It's not about competing with other stores, about the latest and greatest technique and trick, it's about staying true to their customers. They know what works for their customer and they stick with it!

Seems like a very simple concept....but, do you think that is what retail businesses are doing these days? I'd be curious to your thoughts.....

But, I do need to say "HAPPY 100th ANNIVERSARY, MISS JACKSON'S!" You have achieved a feat that most specialty retail stores will never do!

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