Pet Store Gossip Creates a Memorable Customer Experience

Photo Credit: Mirror UK - TobyLittleDude/Fortitude Press

All businesses strive for exemplary customer experience because in this quest, it is where businesses will thrive. But creating a powerful customer experience that is everlasting takes patience, understanding, grace, sometimes humor and also a problem solving mindset.

Another less spoken about ingredient of the CX secret sauce is actually gossip. I know we were all taught as kids that being a gossip queen or king is frowned upon by society. Our parents told us that, “It is not nice to talk about someone behind their backs.” Yes even though that is true, gossip is also a way that some people create bonds in society.

It got me thinking about my recent experience at a nationally well-known pet chain store. Those who are pet parents understand the importance of getting your fur babies out and about to socialize with other pets.

One Saturday afternoon my goal was to simply take my fur baby to the pet store, sniff around, play with toys that I probably won’t buy, let him swat at the big dogs and then go home. Instead I found myself happily chatting with one of the managers who said “hi” to every customer and was very well versed in each product on the shelves. We’ll call him Jeff.

My conversation with Jeff went something like this:

Me: What is going on that you guys are already putting out Halloween pet toys?

Jeff: We always sell out of holiday stuff the week of the holiday so this year the company wanted get the ball rolling earlier.

Me: But July is kinda early? No?

Jeff: I’m going to tell you something not a lot of people know. The company was newly acquired by a Canadian company and they have an aggressive marketing plan now. We are looking to make as much sales possible before we have to discount all the products the week of Halloween.  

Me: So what else are they changing in the future?

Jeff: They are looking to discontinue the sale of certain dog food brands and possibly raising the prices as well.

Me: Really?

Jeff: I see you are buy brand ABC for your pet, don’t worry we aren’t looking to stop selling your brand.

By the time I was ready to leave, I ended up buying another bag of dog food that I didn’t really need. At the checkout counter the cashier said something interesting to me, “You know a lot of customers come in to look for Jeff and when we tell them he’s not here, customers literally walk out the door.” It didn’t surprise me because I knew that anyone who spoke to Jeff felt his confidence and appreciated his expertise.

The next time we want to create an unforgettable customer experience remember that a little bit of gossip can go a long way. When I say gossip, I don’t mean celebrity dramas or super charged world news. In fact share with customers new information about your product, become the expert. Believe me it’s worth it because this is the foundation for creating an irresistible customer experience.