Who Knew?
Who Knew?

The services you offer are not always obvious to customers


Who Knew is a rhetorical question that’s been in common use for years but these days it’s often used in a sarcastic manner when something considered to be obvious, really isn’t obvious to the public at large

Retailers are sometimes guilty of thinking their services are obvious …….. customers just have to ask!

Well, there are many customers who don’t like / don’t want to ask or wouldn’t think to ask. Many of us don’t consider we have the time to queue to ask questions anyway and we shouldn’t have to.

It’s not enough to only communicate product information and pricing to customers these days.

Customers appreciate being able to notice the range of services you offer without having to ask - if you offer a trailer for hire or if you will pot up a plant for them, tell them with a sign, tell them on your website, remind them in your newsletters.

Customers want knowledge, gardening tips and ideas; they want to know what you have going on in store that will improve their knowledge and skill levels to improve their plot; they want to know if you support their local school or community.

Can they get a meal? Is there a place to socialise with friends? Can they get online while they are in your store?

Too few garden centres, especially smaller operations take the time to plan and develop lines of communication with customers. Pre-empt the common information customers may want to know and provide the answers in obvious places without them having to ask.

The basics

  • Do you have a large, visible Services Board in your corporate colours close to the entrance of the store or the till area listing all the services you offer? 

  • Do you back up this list by placing smaller signs in appropriate areas? For example, if you pot containers for customers, do you have an attractive potting up station;  a service sign near your pots and container department; do you list or promote the service on your website, talk about it on Facebook; talk about it in your newsletters?

  • If you offer a delivery service, is your policy clearly signed in store and on your website; do you have additional signage in appropriate areas to remind customers?

  • Do you plan events and in-store demonstrations several months in advance? Do you list them on your website and offer a store calendar and information sheets several months in advance so that customers have the opportunity to get the event in their diaries early enough before other events take over?

  • If there are a range of frequently asked questions about services and product range in store, have you thought about creating a FAQ section on your website?


Customers expect 'Service' these days. Be sincere about it and offer it with good information and a smile