Upon walking through the large glass cases they call doors that had long kept us out of our new home, I felt a wave of excitement married together with anxiety. Excitement for finally getting in store and putting into practice all the great skills I had learnt. Whilst also anxious about making sure I didn’t mess any of it up. “This is the day. This is the day we have all been waiting for.”
The words echoed in my head over and over with every loop louder than the last. This was the day. The day we had all been waiting for.
Yep. All, as in everyone. Everyone who knew about, talked about or even thought about this project had been waiting for this day. And I was about to be a part of it. A part of this ‘Stores of The Future’ and my future looked very bright. I was finally here. We were all finally here and this was indeed the day we had all been waiting for.
Since that moment the same feeling has washed over me every day I go in store to begin my shift, and I grow more and more attached to it. This is like no working environment I have ever been in. There is always something going on. Members of my team are always creating memories and experiences.
The idea that we are working sometimes gets so lost in our aim of creating impactful experiences for both our team and our customers. We love to empower everyone that comes through our doors and getting to know people so the service we give them is customised to them. We don’t sell to our customers but instead inspire them and guide them to a choice that is best suited to them. For their gain only, which in turn is gain for all. When they are happy, we are happy and that’s all we strive for.
As my mother always said, ‘a happy home breeds a happy family’ and that is exactly what we want for all that enter our store. To become a part of the family. As we reach out to the community we want them to feel welcomed in our store.
We address our team by name and hand customers over in a welcoming and warm manner. This has meant we always have a great conversation with them where they feel comfortable and at home with us.
Our store differs to most as we have the freedom to spend time with our customers, having great conversations and asking them relevant lifestyle questions so we can better advice them on the best product for them. They therefore leave the store with a product they are happy with.
As a result of us creating these great experiences for our customers, it has meant they are sometimes gushing with excitement to write a review or feedback on how well their trip to the store went. This has been reflected in the comments we have received from our customers naming team members by name or sometimes even emailing our general manager directly.
Feedback has therefore been very important and rewarding for us as we are able to stay positive and encourage each other. We also sharpen and support each other, always striving to be even better.
Aside from the customer experiences in store, we as Gurus have amazing experiences ourselves. We have fun with our customers with the cool activities we have going on in the store such as the inspire themed zones and the guru bar. Over the past couple of weeks we have had the Samsung Gear Virtual Reality glasses out to demo. Showing our customers what they can do has been so much fun.
We are always looking for the next best game or app to make that experience even more fun. And the freedom we have to spend a few minutes, or more, doing this with our customers makes our store a fantastic playground for all adults and kids looking to learn something new.
Overall, I’m sure all my team will agree, working in the Stores of The Future has thus far been a rewarding and empowering journey. Both the team and myself look forward to continuing this journey on into the future and giving back to the community around us.
Tapiwa Takwira- SOTF Guru