Experience is Everything

Most customers base loyalty on their experience in your store and how you treat them


We are in the ‘experience era.’ Customers are empowered by technology and they compare products, prices and delivery options online. When price is a consideration, they don’t stay loyal if they can get a better deal elsewhere.

That aside, most don’t base their loyalty on price or product any more but on the experience i.e. how you treat them. These perceptions effect behaviors and build memories and feelings.

75% of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever and whenever they engage with your brand.

If they like you and continue to like you they are going to do business with you and recommend you to others. If you can’t keep up with basic good service and their increasing demands, they will leave.

Our online presence must reflect our bricks and mortar offer in every way and they expect the experience they receive to be slicker than in the past.

They want effortless and they know most modern companies have the technology to provide it.

83% go to a company’s website for information. Self-service is a growing trend. 50% believe they ought to be able to solve a lot of product or service issues themselves without having to pick up the phone or take the time to get in the car and go to talk to you face to face.

It’s our job to make it easier for customers to shop, to find information, to learn how to do and to support themselves

As 2020 approaches, customer service is much more than the interaction of serving a customer and satisfying their needs. In order to deliver a satisfying customer experience, you have to know your customers better than ever before and know what each demographic is going to appreciate.

Not as easy as it sounds, even for a garden centre with a primarily core garden offer. It means incorporating a huge list of convenience factors:

  • Opening hours to suit the majority of your customer groups
  • Car parking, electric vehicle charging, carwash and valet service
  • Paved walkways and clear signage for main departments
  • An ‘end use’ layout; easy to understand terminology
  • Covered all weather shopping and ideally a one-stop shop or destination environment
  • Easy to use, ergonomic trolleys with child seat option
  • Good level of knowledge amongst the team - garden care, products, services and policies
  • Integrated signage - category, point of sale, information
  • Product priced at perceived value, benefit driven, seasonal promotions
  • Ideas and concepts to take away, demonstrations and activities
  • Environmentally friendly boot liners, carry bags, wrapping service, free local delivery
  • Potting up service, ready to go planted containers, delivery and plant services
  • Accessible toilets with baby change facilities
  • Refreshments, ideally a cafe
  • Seating and play areas
  • Informative website; daily social media feeds; weekly newsletters, 
  • Design / installation/maintenance services
  • Free wifi, online information centre
  • Plant / product guarantee without limitations
  • Transparent rewards system, loyalty programmes / garden clubs with worthwhile benefits