Footwear Insight

September / October 2019

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Page 36 of 60

GOLD MEDAL SERVICE AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE // 2019 36 • Footwear Insight ~ September/October 2019 "We look for a certain personality type, someone willing to listen. When I hire someone new, they spend time with the staff. We think it probably takes three months before a new hire is minimally proficient. Most of our staff are former customers who had a good experience. We only have a couple of full-time people, and our staff likes it that way. They don't need a full-time job, but they enjoy the gratification they get from helping people feel better." Skip Chandler, owner, Chandler's Walk Shoppe "Our business is based on service and solutions; it's the only reason we're in business. We do insoles and orthotics, and the people who come to us are having foot issues. So with our business, we need people who are knowledgeable. And they can't get that knowledge from working one or two days a week to be consistent." Ryan Richards, owner, The Foot Spot CONSISTENTLY CONSISTENT Five-time Gold Medal Service Award winners share their playbook for serving up great service again and again. By Jennifer Ernst Beaudry S tores that want to excel have to play the long game on customer service. Impressing shoppers when they come in is great and it's critical. But the best brick-and-mortar shops know that it's not enough to wow most of the people some of the time. To build and maintain a strong business in the face of unprecedented competition, shops need to ensure that they hit the mark each time — and keep hitting it across time, across staff members, across doors. No one knows that better than the retailers below. In the five years Footwear Insight has been awarding the Gold Medal Service Awards, there are just 10 stores that have made the grade each time. We asked five-time winners what it takes to drive customer service consistency through their businesses. Read on for their award-winning tips. "Something that is non-negotiable whatsoever is our secret shops — we do hundreds and hundreds of secret shops. Our secret shop reports are read to us by the SVP of the stores to the entire senior management group every week, and we monitor them month by month." Maurice Breton, president, Comfort Management Corp., parent company of Comfort One Hire the Best A sure-fire way to make sure your customers walk out the door with a smile on their face? Hire the right people for *your* shop. Testing, Testing Want to be sure the lessons are sinking in? Put them to the test — and make sure you review the results. Skip Chandler,Chandler's Walk Shoppe Comfort One Shoes

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