Nurturing the niche

So there I was watching the consumer show on RTE last night when I came across a sight that made me push the pause button with wonder. The sight I refer to was the picture below. I suppose it can  be described as a Tesco staff member walking after an elderly customer with a giant lollipop sign, signalling that she was there for assistance.

I was puzzled, so much so that I had to rewind, pause and analyse. So pause is what I did and I thought. I thought could it be that Tesco know their customer base so well that they feel it worth having this extra assistance available (Every little helps?). It was the only conclusion I could come to, as I have never seen such a thing happening before. If this is the case, then this is utterly brilliant. The so called ‘grey market’ is where profitable niches exist and Tesco are certainly nurturing this niche.

A lot is talked about database marketing and segmentation in relation to gaining insight into your customers behaviour. However I believe this example is probably a case of observation and simple common sense prevailing in a certain store, the basics if you like. Some companies forget these basics which include serving your customer, it really should be back to basics for some companies.

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Brilliant Brioche

I must admit, it is not often that I feel compelled to tell you all about my lunch, nor would I think you would be interested in such mundane musings, however this is different. Brioche is one of our local haunts providing the sustenance a student needs to make it through a grueling college day. In my opinion, they are just great. Not only do they have great prices and lunch deals (€2 for coffee, with extra kick) but they are genuinely nice people.

It was this week that we made the stroll down Aungier Street to said cafe. I must add that we battled the wind and rain on two occasions and on one occasion I lost an umbrella to it (Doesn’t this scream brand loyalty to you). Nevertheless it was packed. One member of staffed soon realised the impending herd mentality that was about to break out and took it upon herself to come out behind the counter to hurry things along.

She proceeded to take our orders in advance, writing them and our names on their bags. This is brilliant customer service in action. We were impressed. They even succumbed to my addiction for mayonnaise by providing me with a little extra pot for my pleasure (Remember it is the little extras that I love). We returned today and were greeted by the uber professional staff member by name, this threw me over the edge into a pit of delight.

Every single company should have staff members like this, she surpassed any expectations I ever had about the place,  I am now a loyalist to Brioche.

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Kareem’s Win-Win

Like many of us out there, when I have a techy problem I get all flustered and ponder the complexities of modern technology. I don’t however ponder it too long , I prefer to let the experts do the pondering. Kareem got in contact with us to share his view on customer service, in particular the great help he received from his service provider in relation to his website.

For Kareem the help he got not only was free (and we do love free at this blog) but left him with such a great impression of the company that he wanted to share it. This is the power of great service, it goes way beyond problem resolution. It builds relationships and is a powerful indirect promotional tool for a company.

Kareem provided a great analogy which really sums it up, ” Superior customer service is like having a great friend do you a favour: You feel the urge to repay them not because you’re forced to, but rather because you will feel satisfied in doing so”. 

This emphasis on returning the favour is what companies should be striving for, the aim is that you return the favour with their company only and speak highly of them to others, the essence of brand loyalty.

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It really is the little things that count.

Camden street has become quite the melting pot of chic eateries and great bargains. As an aside, one of my favourite shops, The Camden Casket, is an absolute must visit for the savvy buyer, but more about that in a later post, I must stay on topic !

Back to NEON, or as they put it Asian street food, now I don’t know if the term ‘street food’ really does this justice,  it is way better than any urban street food I have ever tasted. The staff are most attentive even helping me choose dishes that would limit a chilli overdose.

Now to a little note or suggestion if you like, we visited at the rather unsociable hour of 5pm on a Monday thanks to a hectic day of project work. The lunch time deal was over at 4pm and whilst the only other two people in the place were content with this, I feel a little nudge in the way of customer loyalty would have been beneficial had it been offered. I do like a deal you know. Still €11.95 for noodles and a main dish is great.

And talk about saving the best till literally last, your meal comes with two ice cream cones that you can fill at your leisure for free. So ice cream cones in hand, a nod of thanks from the staff and a ray of sunshine breaking through, we left with definite promises of a return visit.

A little piece of paradise with delightful extras, a great combination. 

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Top Marks

A spur of the moment Thursday trip to M&S turned out to be quite the fruitful one. Initially lured in by their €12.50 dinner deal (which cannot be beaten for value) we were greeted by a selection of delightful treats being offered.

Yvonne was just as delightful as her samples, she amazed me with her enthusiasm and knowledge of all things Marks and Spencer. I left feeling knowledgeable  not just about the new range but a whole host of tips and tricks regarding all things cookery.

The most important point though is that Yvonne had bundles of passion without being pushy. She was absolutely brilliant at her job and could sell me a Spanish risotto in an instant, despite my abhorrent dislike for the mini rice dish. There needs to be more Yvonne’s out there !

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