My husband Bruce recently had to paint our new fence. So, he borrowed a friend's paint sprayer, went to the DIY hardware store to buy paint, then tried to pour the paint into the narrow opening for the spray … getting paint everywhere because paint does not pour neatly from a can! (Not only that, but anyone who has ever done any painting knows that any time you pour paint from the can, it collects in the lip, so when you put the cover back on, the paint in the lip dries and makes the cover almost impossible to remove at a later date!)
When he went back to the store for another gallon of paint, he asked the clerk if there existed a device that allowed one to contain paint as it's being beloved from a can. The clerk said they used to carry one, but do not any more. However, just in case, Bruce walked around to the other side of the counter where – lo and behold – he found a rubber “Paint Can Lid” with a pour spout built in. It was exactly what he needed and he bought it instantly!
The kicker is that he had to go home after the first trip to the store, be unsuccessful (or at least extremely messy) in his first attempt to pour the paint into the spray, make a return trip to the store to find a solution, get the WRONG answer from the clerk, and then find it himself in order to enjoy the painting experience he wanted in the first place!
The clerk and the store lost the opportunity to WOW him, simply because they do not have the proper training (or a procedure) for helping people as successful as possible, as quickly as possible.
How different would his experience with the DIY store have been if clerks were trained to tell everyone who ever buys a can of paint about this great invention that can help them contain the mess if they want to pour their paint into another container, rather than dipping their brush directly into the can?
More importantly to the store, think about how many cans of paint they sell and how much more profit they could make (not to mention how many more customers they could help and WOW!) If they included this valuable little “upsell” in their checkout procedure?
I am WOW ed by stores that go beyond simply selling me a commodity I can get anywhere. If a store's associates go the extra mile to try to help me be more successful with my purchase, that's a valuable differentiator to me … one I will choose over the “They're just a number – sell them anything” type of store that treasures their products and their customers simply as commodities to be “handled.”
What opportunities are you missing to WOW your customers and create more sales and profit, simply because you're not thinking of all the things the customer may need to accompany the items they're currently buying?