Back to Basics
By Nell Miller
December 11, 2009

Time goes by too quickly. The little orange furball that I adopted when I graduated from college is now entering his senior years, and I’ve needed to make adjustments to accommodate him. This past year, Chewy has had some major urinary problems, resulting in bladder surgery and costing me over $1,500 in vet bills.

 

In addition to the vet’s fees, I have also been spending more at the pet store. First, the veterinarian suggested that I change his diet, so I have been purchasing food that aids urinary processes. Next, I had to add another litter box to my home and change the litter I was using. (Chewy had been urinating outside his box and the vet told me that this would help. It did.) Finally, I have been purchasing pet-friendly household cleaning products, and pheromone diffusers and sprays. All of these products have worked together and proved to have beneficial results. Chewy seems to be (fingers crossed) back to normal.

 

Because of my constant trips to the pet store over the past year, I have developed a great relationship with the storeowner. The store itself is only one year old, and I have watched the business, as well as the owner’s kitten, grow rapidly and mature over the year. The fact that the owner is nice and helpful every time I enter the store is definitely one of the reason’s I keep going back (even though another store has recently opened closer to my home).

 

Other reasons I return include (1) the owner puts a free toy mouse in the bag every time I shop there—there are probably 50 toy mice under my couch as I write this; (2) the owner has offered free delivery when I buy litter; and (3) the owner knows me by name and greets me with a smile every time I enter the store.

 

The point is: it’s the little things that matter to customers. They don’t want bells and whistles to go off when they enter the store, they simply want a pleasant shopping experience, and to feel like the retailer appreciated their business. So, for those retailers who are planning huge holiday marketing plans, don’t forget the basics. Service with a smile can still mean the world to busy holiday shoppers.