Late last week, my friend Rachael bought herself a brand new car. She's quite frankly obsessed with her new 2011 Nissan Sentra. And while it's not necessarily my favorite make or model, I can certainly respect her excitement; buying something new with your own money just feels good.
On Tuesday, I helped Rachael search for a keyless entry and remote starter. She wants it installed soon so that on hot summer days she can make sure her car is "pre-air-conditioned." To be honest, I think it's a waste of money. But, hey, it's not my hard-earned cash!
Our first stop was at retail-giant Best Buy. Their prices for remote starters actually weren't bad at all. But what was bad, unfortunately, was the store's customer service. On a Tuesday evening at 7:30pm, you wouldn't expect a store's staff to have trouble handling the crowd. However, there was a long line, and the 17-year-old kid who was assisting us didn't seem too confident in his knowledge of the store's products.
We then hopped across the street to P.C. Richard & Son to compare prices. The store's prices there were actually a bit higher, and yet it still got my friend's sale. How did it happen?
First off, the staff was friendly and knowledgeable. When you're shopping for something that's going to run you a bit of money, you feel better about making the purchase if the customer service representative knows his or her stuff. Secondly, because my friend was about to make such a big purchase, the department's manager basically showered her in promotional giveaways. Not only did Rachael walk away with the exact remote starter she was looking for, but she also received custom iPod covers, promotional flash drives, and a promotional flashlight.
P.C. Richard & Son nailed it. The company may have lost a few bucks handing out promotional products, but think about the resulting brand exposure. Plus, this blog entry might help out a bit, too. Bravo!