Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Marketing and Customer Service

(c) http://www.martialartstrends.com/ Pikes Place

A long time ago we read a book, Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter, by Seth Godin, and introduced it to our staff.  I suggest you read it too, if you are looking for a way to separate yourself from the pack, understand what makes your business, school or DoJang different, and learn how to better communicate that difference to the world.

Be that as it may, one of the chapters was about a fish store in Seattle, at Pikes Place, on the waterfront, called "Pikes Place Fish Market." (Further chapters deal with Starbuck too, and they also started at Pikes Place Market.)

The chapter on Pikes Place Fish Market basically spelled out that this store wanted you to know that they had awesome customer service, and they developed a "purple cow," or "their thing," that pretty much sticks out like a roman candle in a dark room.  If you buy a full fish, salmon, they take the fish, throw it over your head, throw it back, with amazing control, bringing it to a 1/2 inch from some other customers face, then they package it.

Look at the picture to the left, and notice that the crowd goes from the counter to wall.  I am taking the picture from out on the street.  This is clearly the most busy location of the entire market, even swamping the "Original Starbucks," for crowd numbers.

The people were packed around the store front in every possible location, so much so that the people working the market had to go out into the crowd and ask them to leave a passage for other shoppers to pass through.  They did that at least 10 times in the 15 minutes it took us to buy a Copper River Salmon for one of our instructors.

What were all these people doing? The book implies and it appeared as though they were just filming the fish tossing, since this is the market's most famous activity.

Once we became involved by asking questions about a Salmon purchase of our own, we were taken to the front, near the display cases where they were actually working, and we discovered the rest of the story.

1) This was NOT just a PR stunt to get visitors.  They had discovered that they were REALLY good with fish and helping people determine which fish and how much of it to buy.  The Throwing thing was really just a way to please the customer, and thank them for trusting this business.

2) They were actively seeking customers from the crowd.  Every sale was announced, every tip was acknowledged by 100% of the works in ear shot. They were being demonstrative about every aspect of customer service, while at the same time asking if anyone had any questions about .... Fish.

3) The people watching were NOT customers.  They were prospective customers.  Customers were treated far differently.

Example:  When we discovered that Copper River Salmon was $54 a lbs, we kinda freaked out. We decided we could afford 2 lbs to send to our instructor.  So we asked them how to order.  Boom, we had our own sales rep.  He told us that since we were shipping it to the East Coast, there was paper work and a $65 shipping and handling fee (dry ice, flaying etc.)  He then said,"Why not just buy the whole fish?"  I was thinking that we could not afford it.  My wife was thinking we could, because the person we were shipping it too was worth it.  So I asked him, "How Much?"  He said, first, shipping is only $25 on a whole fish, because there is less handling, and the fish is only $13 a lb if you buy the whole thing, meaning we would be done with $134.  Wow.  Sold.  Get the whole fish.

Anne then said to me, under her breath, that the only downside was flaying.  She did not know if our instructor knew how to do that.  The sales rep heard her, and said, "Don't worry. I will do that for you for free."  Boom.  These people also know people. Very well.

Do they have a system?  Yes.

Does their system sell?  No. It's a tool to help their people, people sell.  Selling is personal.

These people have created a system that allows each person to do what they do best, and the sales people do customer service best, and you can tell.  Get the book.  Change your life.

Click the title of the book, or the picture to the left, to be taken to Amazon to you can see what the books costs and what formats you can get. Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter

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