My fiancee and I went downtown yesterday to buy a suit and it was one of the best shopping experiences I've had in a long time. Although it started pretty grim—because the store we were in was packed to the gills and I generally dislike shopping for suits—it was the customer service that made it such a positive experience, and eventually, a positive purchase for myself and my bride to be.
From the moment we entered the store, I was anxious. After all, the suit we were looking for was the suit I'd be getting married in, so obviously, I was thinking a great deal about looking and feeling sharp. You might've seen steam coming out of my ears.
After looking at a few options, an employee approached us and offered their help. They were friendly, helpful, and lead us in such a seamless way that the tension I was feeling started to evaporate without me even knowing.
In under a minute, this employee took us from the clothing racks to a personalized change room with a comfy chair for my future wife and a spacious change room for me to test out the 18 suits I ended up trying on. While we there, this employee was insightful, encouraging, and patient. He was interested in helping me finding something that worked and wasn't just trying to sell me something.
Even though it took a substantial amount of time for us to make a decision, this employee never once made myself or my bride feel like we were a nuisance. Instead, he made a fantastic first impression and made that impression stick until we ended up purchasing a suit. He even gave us his personal cell number so we could text him pictures of our wedding (because he likes to see how the story carries on).
After leaving the store, I remember asking myself: is this the feeling people get when they view the website I manage? Is this the impression people get when they enter our building? Is this the tone my organization sets in everything we do with the media we produce and share?
What this shopping experience taught me is that great media makes a first and lasting impression that isn't manipulative but offers transformational insight to the person being communicated to and has that person's best interest at heart. It identifies tension in peoples' lives and seamlessly resolves it.
So yes, I walked away with a dapper suit. But I also walked away with a great media teaching point.
I'd call that a win, wouldn't you?