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Personal service is key to competing with big box retailers

You might not be able to beat the big box retail stores on price, but you can compete favorably by offering superior customer service, consultant Marc Willson told about three dozen local small business owners and prospective owners during a breakfast meeting April 21 at Ordinary.

During the meeting at The Office Bar & Grille at 17 Plaza, Willson said that not only should the small business owners and their staffs welcome customers into their shops, but they should also try to engage them on a personal level in hopes they might become regulars. “Be sincere,” he said.

The program, organized by the Gloucester Economic Development Authority and hosted by the Hampton Roads Small Business Center, was billed as “Competing With Big Box Retailers.” Willson, principal of The Willson Company, retail consultant for the Virginia Small Business Development Center Network, said researchers have found that only 20 percent of customers tend to make up 80 percent of a busi...

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