Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Jerry Birnbach & Associates Announces they are the First Store Planning Firm to incorporate a mobile app to provide clients real time updates on their design and construction projects.

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Now our clients will be able to review on their smart phone or iPad at any time the design drawing, schedules, budgets, planograms, correspondence, quotes, contracts, and other vital information on their store projects while on the go.

“With the ability to see the entire new store design and construction information” said Jerry Birnbach Partner, you now can will be able to receive and post updates immediately. This feature enables store owners to stay on top of their projects to what any degree of detail they require. The bottom line results to the retailer will be cost savings, time savings and an overall outstanding solution to their new stores renovation or start up projects.

Jerry Birnbach & Associates believes that a client who can capture all the facts and figures of their store project will realize the importance of daily interaction with the project criteria and dynamic factors and benefit greatly from the application.

For Bloomingdale’s, Container Store Or Gap – Service Still Makes The Difference

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Although my expertise is in designing stores, I could not agree more with Mr. Loeb regarding service. There are so many factors that come into play today as a result of technology, which has created parity. Competitive price checks, availability, brand have become a constant among several retailers serving the many sectors of demographics.
The shopping experience, which is spearheaded by service, could be the biggest single factor that allows one retailer to survive while others continue to close their doors.
I am very sensitive to service and find that the big box retailers have a much more difficult time providing quality associates that customers can rally around. My guess is salary plays a part of this low standard of service. This service area of opportunity allows the mom pop retailer a way that the can out perform the big box retailer.
We all know good service when we see it and unfortunately the retailer is starving to cultivate this caliber of staff member so they are forced to promote the good associates to a higher position. This promotion often leads to creating a hole where the store meets the customer, with the end result of losing customers due to poor service.
As soon as the retailer put more time and priority into labor training and selection, the bottom line will improve itself through happy customers. Needless to say it is all about the product, but when product no longer plays the key role in securing customer loyalty, service is the next factor to drive the business.

Judge Certifies Class Action Over J.C. Penney Phantom Discounts

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

J.C.Penney’s should become a Harvard Study on how to accellorate putting oneself out of business. It wasn’t bad enough that under the Johnson “apple” era, when JCP knew it was heading to the world of Montgomery Ward, W.T. Grants and Mervyn’s the plan backfired. “No coupons for you”!, must have skipped the focus group rounds and went right to impliment and was called “Strike One”. Back came the coupons, back came another CEO, and onward to regain customer confidence. Apparently if you cannot gain confidence with tried and proven retail strategy, pull the cotton, wool, and synthetic material over their eyes.
Well that looks like “Strike Two”. You know where I am going with this,
If they survive this allegation it appears they ran out of good ideas and might as well stand still and take “Strike Three”

Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Barbara Farfan once again has hit the nail on the head. There’s trouble in River City and it rhymes with FAIL. RETAIL,is going through a transition as experienced in the past by Mass Retailers, Deep Discount Drugs and Department Stores. The transition is a result of good times when business people believed that any retail concept will be a winner.Sharper Image, Warner Stores, Disney Stores, KayBee Toy, and Kids r Us are just a few casualties of good retail times gone by.We are heading to a world of Hybrid Retailers based on the dynamics of retail. As grocery retailers needed higher gross product they introduced items other than food into the store assortment. As discounters failed on the apparel side to get the category successful they introduced food for the volume and turns. As drug stores regulated by insurance companies lost their cash cow, they became a convenience 7-11 with milk with everyday items. Put this trend all together and you have the same store offerings under the disguise of a Category Killer retailers.The game is the same only the rules have changed. This rule book now better include Customer Service, Experienced Store personnel, competitive pricing, never out key items, and exclusive product for todays retailers to survive. As a Store Planner and Retail Consultant,  for over thirty years, I have experienced the evolution of retailing. The good news is we will have stores to shop in and the “paved paradise and put up a parking lots” will be turned back into “Green Zones”.Jerry Birnbach Retailers for a better

Employees Still Accepting Pay Cuts by Barbara Farfan

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

to read more Retailers across the nation must read this article over and over again because it is a wake up call. Look at the Auto Industry to see what the lack of corporate integrity, employee sense of pride and uncompromising customers did to the American Auto Industry. In the 70’s and early 80’s American cars ruled. But I for one got tired of coming home from picking up my new car and finding screws, bolts, on the floor and idiot lights lit up on the dash board. I finally went European and had years of reliable and trouble free auto ownership. The level of employee retail staff is at an all time low regardless if it is at the low end of the retail food chain such as Mass Retail or at the high end Department Store. As a Retail Design Consultant and blogger for “Retailers for a better tomorrow” it puzzles me that this practice is not given a higher sense of priority. The frustration level to go into a retail store, have no assistance, or staff that are not knowledgeable about the product, unwilling to go the extra mile to accommodate the consumers is monumental. • There are several retailers such as The Gap, The Container Store, Apple Store who get it and make the shopping experience pleasant. On the other side of the equation is a Radio Shack, a highly technical resource, and a store that I visit as a last resort. Do I want uncontrolled images on the TV screen or music that has a limited appeal level assaulting me? Do I want to struggle to find what I need because I have a better technical sense than the person assisting me? Am I a satisfied customer knowing that in less than thirty days I will be returning the item because it either is faulty or does not do what it claimed to do? The most incredible realization for me is that these staff members do not get that they are digging their own grave. Retailers cannot survive when incidents noted in Barbara’s article and some of my references are not isolated ones but rather the norm. Just like the piped in messages were a feeble attempt by corporate to bypass the human factor, retailers need to train their staff or find a way to turn the store into a giant vending machine. Look at the way we purchase gas today as opposed to the days of a gas attendant. We talk to the pump tell it all the information we require, and the pump makes the purchase and gives us a receipt with a message of thanks. The gas pump is better than some of the deadbeats that did the same job years ago and were ultimately replaced by a robotic gas pump. The personal touch, the lost opportunity to win over a customer and gain consumer loyalty went down the drain with the new pumps. The bottom line is that there is a real problem with today’s retail staff and if no one wants to fix it, we will all be gravitating to the next innovative retailer who has made the people factor more important than product. Jerry Birnbach F.I.S.P.