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“Customer Experience is not just about

passion. It is about profitable results.”

~Lior Arussy

The Black Friday Customer Experience

Posted: Nov 24, 2015 by Brianne Spinelli

It’s coming. The day after Thanksgiving, commonly known as “Black Friday,” is almost upon us. It’s a hugely profitable day for retailers. For some consumers, it is a day for the savviest of shoppers to nimbly lace up their Nikes and sprint through the aisles of their local department stores to snatch up the best deals on even more Nikes and perhaps a few big-screen TVs.

Between the sensationalism of Black Friday’s inconceivable sales, the ever earlier store opening times (some are now opening up shop at 3PM on Thanksgiving day!), and the overall thrill of the hunt for the best deal, any notion of customer experience has gone out the window.

Or has it?

Because Black Friday is not designed for shoppers to leisurely stroll the aisles, some would contend that customer experience isn’t important on that day because, even if it was provided, customers wouldn’t notice the small things store employees do to make their experience one of delight and satisfaction. But can things be done that will motivate customers to come back to the store even after the madness of Black Friday has passed?

For example, one big-name department store is offering shoppers the opportunity to score surprise coupons of $10 off of $10, $50 off of $50, or even $500 off of $500 just by showing up early. That is in addition to their regularly advertised Black Friday deep discounts. Customers also have the chance to win a $10,000 cash grand prize. Sure, there’s the incentive there to shop in-person instead of online. But what will the actual in-store experience be like? If sales associates are rude and unhelpful, what is the likelihood that someone who doesn’t win that cash prize will return? Or, better yet: if sales associates are rude and unhelpful, what is the likelihood that someone who DOES win the cash prize will return to spend their winnings there?

Simply because an exceptional experience may not seem necessary on Black Friday doesn’t mean that it is unnecessary. Small gestures can go a long way. When holiday shopping is over and all of the wrapping paper has been torn off and thrown away, when customers think back on their time standing out in the cold on a frigid November night waiting to enter a store to take advantage of deep, deep discounts, will they remember the cash prize that they didn’t win or will they remember that the store employees passed out cups of coffee or hot cocoa to the shivering masses while they waited to enter the store? Will they remember that they got a coupon or that store employees had umbrellas at the ready when the weather took a sudden turn for the worse? 

This Black Friday, and throughout the rest of the Holiday shopping season, take a moment to notice when an organization or member of an organization has gone out of their way for you as a customer to make your experience just a little bit better. What did they do to surprise and delight you? Let us know on Twitter @StrativityGroup, and use the hashtag #HolidayShopExp