When I first considered this title for an article that I was working on before the holidays, it was going to be about finding employees with qualities that would help make your business great. I shelved it in favor of some other topics, but the title stuck with me.
Then, I heard about a store called Zulu’s Board Game Café via a video on Wizards of the Coast’s WPN site. On July 21st, 2016, their store in Bothell, Washington was damaged by cinders from a nearby fire and water from the hoses used by the diligent firefighters that put out the nearby blaze. Though the damage was extensive, it could have been a lot a worse. Most importantly, it occurred when the store was closed, so no one was hurt. You can watch the video below.
For me, the main takeaway was that even though the store had only been open a few months when the fire occurred, they had dedicated and supportive gamers who were eager to help get the store ready to open again.
So, this leads to the real question… “Who’s on your dream team?” In other words, how do you create a legion of fans that love being in your store and will stand by you through thick and thin? To answer that question, you’ll need to ask yourself a couple more. What are you doing to create devotion in your clientele? Are you actively courting your customers to become dedicated lifelong supporters? Here are a couple of tips that you can use to build a relationship with your gaming community.
Hello, Goodbye, Please and Thank You
It doesn’t get much simpler than this, but in the day-to-day hustle, it can become easy to forget that common courtesy goes a long way when it comes to customer service.
Every one that enters should be greeted. It lets good customers know that you are there to help and it informs less scrupulous individuals that you are aware of their presence. Even if you’re swamped, make sure you say hello and let them know that you will be with them shortly.
As soon as you can, find out what their needs are and help them with their questions. When you’re done, thank them for coming in, remind them that they are always welcome and wish them well.
Make a List and Check It Daily
Keeping a database of your customers, their contact information and their favorite products, is crucial to their happiness and to your success. A spreadsheet with searchable fields can save you a ton a time when new products and events are announced. This way, you can accurately judge the minimum amount of your preorder. You’re also able to customize and target promotions and email campaigns based on your patrons’ documented interests and less on their general proclivities.
That leads to less customer burn out due to an abundance of unsolicited announcements. Most importantly, make sure to keep your list up-to-date. Inaccurate data can be a huge drain on your resources and can lead to customer disappointment and that is something we never ever want.
While this is a very brief overview, it is also the foundation of building a relationship with your customers. People who feel welcome will smile when they drive by your store. They’ll come up with reasons to bring their friends in to meet you and they’ll do everything they can to shop at your store instead of the competition. In short, they’ll be the customers that you’ve always wanted… your dream team.