As an independent dealer competing against massive big box stores and online retailers, the personal nature of your business is a big plus. Your "people" and their "expertise" are hallmarks of your brand. The relationships you build with customers are what sustains you.
Most of you have customers who have shopped with you for years. They know you and your staff by name, and vice versa. This is what makes a "mom and pop" store like yours so appealing.
There is a major demographic shift going on in America, though. Many new landscape contractors, homeowners (i.e. millennials), and other purchasers of outdoor power equipment are coming into the marketplace. At the same time, numerous power equipment dealerships have closed in recent years, and many more will likely be closing or consolidating in coming years. All of this leads to fresh faces walking through your showroom doors—fresh faces who aren't on that first-name basis with you and your staff.
To determine how important it is for customers to know the names of the people they are doing business with, Imprint Plus, a leading manufacturer of customized, reusable name badge and signage systems, sponsored a random survey of 1,000 men and women across the U.S. The survey was conducted by 72Point, a survey-based PR news agency with offices in England and New York.
Customer service, trust and repeat business
According to the survey results, 71% of consumers consider it extremely or somewhat important to know the name of a service person when doing business with them. More than 50% of customers stated that being on a first-name basis with a service provider fosters better customer service. Over 60% of customers felt that by knowing the name of a sales or service representative, it would contribute to the likelihood of repeat business.
In prior surveys, when customers were asked whether it is important to recognize a person by name when doing business, an overwhelming number of the total respondents (96%) said yes. Over 70% of all respondents agreed upon the importance of identifying a salesperson by name. Furthermore, 78% stated that they have more trust in a business whose employees wear name badges, and consider the company more professional.
“A name badge stating a sales associates’ name, title and area of expertise is a personalized introduction to the customer, one that the survey clearly establishes as a pathway to developing better customer relations with the business establishment, as well as generating more sales and frequent visits,” says Kristin MacMillan, president of Imprint Plus.
Name badges also play a role in branding a sales associate, as more than 70% of those surveyed stated that name badges helped them to remember the name of the person that they have met in business, and nearly 60% stated that a name badge is often the ice breaker that leads to an introduction.
Imprint Plus manufactures a line of reusable name badge and signage systems that professionally identify and brand personnel. The do it yourself kits are fast and economical, the company assures. The user can easily create custom, professional-looking name badges, as well as desk and wall signs, on-site with a computer and printer. It’s easy to add a personal message, which is a key tactic in developing customer relations in many service industries. The Imprint Plus-proprietary, Microsoft-certified software allows name badges and signage to be changed and updated on-site. The typed inserts slide into the signage or name badge, which can be re-used again and again.
Imprint Plus name badges and signage systems range from customized company name badge and signage for large numbers of employees; to The Mighty Badge Kit, perfect for small to mid-size businesses with 10-50 employees; to YouWho name badges in two- and four-unit kits starting at $29. For information on name badges, visit www.imprintplus.com, www.themightybadge.com, or www.youwhobadges.com.