As we approach the busy Christmas shopping period, the extra mile independent businesses can go in delivering a fulfilling customer experience becomes all the more important. Each have a valuable opportunity to play to strengths, such as specialist expertise and an ability to offer personalised service, in order to attract customers and ensure a successful Christmas for the business.
One company which is already doing this well is St Albans-based award-winning fashion boutique The Dressing Room, which mixes established and niche brands, and delivers a five-star service each time. The company prides itself on its meticulous and creative shop window displays, has mastered the art of social media for business and is committed to ensuring its floor staff are trained stylists who are ready to assist every customer that enters the store.
To find out more about how The Dressing Room has managed to carve itself out as a leading independent fashion retailer, we talked to founder Deryane Tadd.
“I always wanted The Dressing Room to be a place that you could shop no matter whether you wanted to spend £20 or £500 – in each case you would always be guaranteed the same service and exceptional shopping experience,” she said. “All of my team are trained by myself to be stylists so you can be styled from head to toe either in store, over email or at the end of the phone – which is quite unique in a landscape of growing ecommerce. We make sure that every shopping experience is bespoke and every element is considered and thought through with the customer in mind.”
Tadd added that attention to detail sets the company apart from competitors, alongside hard work and passion.
“It’s often the small intertwined things that create the ultimate experience,” Tadd said. “The store is slightly scented, there’s always music playing in the background, you’re welcomed at the door and my team will make sure that next time you come to the store they put a completely different set of clothes on your radar. Nothing is too much trouble.
“We have an excellent product mix picked with our specific market in mind,” she added. “I put a lot of time into team training and motivation as I believe this is really important to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. We are dedicated to being the very best independent retailer possible. This is achieved by being passionate about what we do and putting our heart and soul into the business.”
In order to constantly meet customer expectations, the need for businesses to include social media as part of the customer service strategy is therefore becoming increasingly essential. This was shown in a recent study commissioned by Trimble, which found that 51 per cent of organisations think social media is an effective tool for managing customer relationships.
It is the latter word that Tadd emphasises when it comes to the online space.
“Social media is all about being personal, fun and engaging,” Tadd explained. “If those online know your brand, its values and ‘personality’ as well as those who regularly go to the store, then you know you’re on the right track. We offer the same five star service and experience to our online customers. We have a loyalty scheme, we send out vouchers to customers on their birthday, offer free UK shipping and have great competitions through all of our social media channels. We are always looking at what we can do to enhance the online shopping experience. You won’t get far by just posting images of your products; remind them who you are and that you’re there for them.”
These enduring relationships are the ones that personalise a brand, establish a reputation, and build a tribe around your vision. And that is where any business wants to be headed.
As a business that is dedicated to going the extra mile for customers, The Dressing Room is proud to support initiatives such as Shop Small. American Express is committed to supporting small businesses and the American Express Shop Small initiative seeks to incentivise Cardmembers to shop small by giving them a £5 statement credit every time they spend £10 or more with their Card at participating small businesses between 5 December and 20 December. The promotion coincides with Small Business Saturday which takes place every December.
“By encouraging customers through our doors during the busy Christmas shopping period we have seen a clear business benefit in terms of footfall and spend in the years since we started participating in Shop Small. In addition, the Shop Small promotion means we can offer our customers even more – helping us to both attract new customers and reward existing ones.
“Small business owners make vital contributions to local economies and communities and it’s initiatives such as these that will help keep our local high streets thriving for years to come,” Tadd said. “It is important to realise that small stores keep our towns unique and keeps the high street alive.”
For more information on Small Businesses Saturday please visit: https://www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/
For more information on Shop Small please visit https://www.amexshopsmall.co.uk/shop-small-for-business/
Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited. Registered Office: Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. Registered in England and Wales with Number 1833139, American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (reference number 415532) for the provision of payment services.
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