By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
"Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship." —Brené Brown
In our current and rapidly changing world, events have forced us into a socially engineered environment, creating long term social isolation that has had some strong and potentially long-lasting negative results affecting the state of our mental
health and that of our loved ones.
What is social isolation? It is defined as a state of complete or near complete lack of contact between an individual and society. This change for many has drastically decreased our community involvement, and connection has been attempted via new technologies. The entire world has launched into staying connected virtually through skype and zoom conference calls, social cocktail parties, and group facetime calls with family and friends since mid-March when the craziness all began. Over time however, social distancing is taking its toll, as we are seeing the elevation of stress, insomnia, lowered immunity, short-tempers, and addictions. Both loneliness and social isolation are driving up stress levels and wreaking havoc on the human body, including the brain.
Brené Brown, professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, said that “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to.”
Are you socially isolated? If so, are you maintaining a balance physically and emotionally to help keep your body and mind as healthy as possible? Our positive relationships with others increase our own personal resilience and fortitude, keeping the community strong. Connecting with positive people within our circle of influence, that we can both laugh and dive deep with about questions that matter–will help us to face life's challenges with courage and love.
Keep in touch,
By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
The benefit of offering extraordinary service
In today’s world, you can no longer get by with just the basics. By this, I mean people want fries and a sundae with their burger—the works! Delivery, installation and warranties have been our fries and sundaes for years, but if we were to offer sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry on top with the order, how do you think customer loyalty would grow?
Delivery is somewhat simple. You schedule an appointment, drop off a box, and sometimes install the product (if your state allows you inside the home)—no problem. How about offering “white glove service”? A uniformed installer, carpet runners, shoe covers, and yes, white gloves. Add a small vacuum and cleanup after the installation and boom! — the customer gets the works.
How many times have you received a call from a client who did not understand how to use their new product? Video classes are a great side order. Offer once a week, bi-monthly, or monthly classes on convection or induction cooking, or roasting and baking. Many distributors or manufacturers will aid in making these video classes happen if you use their products. Offer these classes to potential customers and to those who have already purchased a product. Heck, if the order was big enough, offer tutorials from a personal chef via a Zoom lesson. This offer can also be a moneymaker if you present it as a package line item.
The ideas are endless as to how to make the customer’s experience different from that of the box store. That’s one of the biggest advantages you have as an independent retailer. Think outside of the box and add that cherry on top of the sundae to make your customer think that they’ve just received the best product offering ever. Let’s face it: a box is a box; it’s how you present it that makes it—and your business—special.
Happy and Safe Retailing,