Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners what customers value about their business and how they know.
• We strive to give the customer more than they expect, said Jeanette Flowers Cornett, president of Transport Refrigeration, which provides sales, service rental and parts sales for temperature-controlled equipment in four locations in North Carolina. Our people are not just salespeople, they are business partners that want to help the customer... We want to help our customer make the right choices and strive in this uncertain economy.
• Two things that customers value about shopping local at High Line Boutique are individualized customer service and the selection of items that we carry, said Jessie Jenkins, owner of the Raleigh store. We know this because customers are very vocal about it. They love coming in, being called by name, and knowing us by name.
• Our blend of service and product knowledge. A quality product is also a key, competing against the big-box store. Our DIY seminars are heavily attended, said Brent Booker, president of Atlantic Mulch, an Apex landscape supply company. We monitor reviews through search engines and Angies list and also offer our clients the ability to comment via our website.
• Our clients value our dependability and consistent quality of service, said Tina Travis, owner of Errand Girl of Durham, a personal concierge service. When any business demonstrates those traits, its priceless. Most of our new business comes from great referrals our clients have given to family and friends.
• My clients say I am easy to work with, always professional yet approachable. And they love the safe process of working with me as well as the results they get from learning to manage their mindset and free emotional blocks, said Wini Curley, clarity and change catalyst at Treat Yourself Well, a Chapel Hill firm that helps businesses and individuals with personal and professional growth. I get lovely email testimonials and have many repeat clients who come back for support with their next goal. The best part for me is seeing someone get past where they are stuck and find the opening to actually create the life and business they long for.