Doug Fleener's

The Day Makes the Year


Don’t Ask for Permission

Apr 24, 2024

Here’s the fastest way to elevate your customer experience and increase sales. (These are two of my favorite things besides sea salt caramel ice cream!)

Don’t ask the customer to give them an even better experience. 

It would be awkward to ask someone, “Can I do something nice for you?” We just do it. The same is true in the store.

Here are a few examples of not asking to deliver a better experience.

* Show the customer a product you know they’ll like. Don’t ask if they want to see it. Show it to them to deliver an even better experience.

* Keep showing products until the customer says they are done shopping. Don’t ask them if there will be anything else. Asking them that triggers the “all set” response without them thinking about it. Letting the customer decide when they’re done is a much better experience.

* Carry a customer’s purchase to their car. Don’t offer to do this. Most will say no, but it's a better experience if you do it unless the customer insists you don’t. 

* Lead the customer to the dressing room. Don’t ask if they want to try it on. The better experience is ensuring everything fits and seeing how additional items enhance the customer’s life. (Yes, some people don’t want to try things on. They’ll self-identify. Don’t ask.)

* Get the customer a drink. Don’t ask if they’d like one. Many customers don’t want to inconvenience you. It’s not an inconvenience! It makes a more enjoyable customer experience and keeps them in the store longer.  (The same is true for gift wrapping. Just ask which paper.)

So let me ask three questions:

1. What is the strangest thing someone asked you permission for? (Mine was when someone on a bus asked if they could feel my hair. Sadly, that no longer happens.)

 2. What is one flavor of ice cream you would walk over hot coals to eat? Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I know some of you would!

 3. How can you and your colleagues deliver an even better experience without asking permission? Go for it because we also know it will increase sales.