The Changing World of Consumer Buying

Date: October 30, 2019 Author: Tammy Kim Categories: Blog
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A lot has changed since Presidential opened its doors nearly 30 years ago. How companies buy and sell is very different in todays global economy. When I first started with the company 23 years ago our network of suppliers was very limited, especially when it came to glass and crystal items. There were only a few suppliers out there and they were selective as to who could buy from them as they only wanted to have a select number of retailers selling their products.  Fast forward to three decades later, now you can buy anything from almost anywhere in the world with a quick Google search and a credit card. The internet really has made the world smaller in a sense. We are all connected now in a way that didn’t exist when we opened our doors. Technology has grown in leaps and bounds and offers consumers unlimited power to buy almost anything. Brick and mortar stores are facing challenges as more and more people do their shopping online.  You can literally buy everything you need online and never step into another store again. From your clothes to your shoes to your food and even your entertainment.  This generation of Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats and free online delivery is challenging to a company who still prides itself on offering that personal touch and excellent customer service. Are customers really looking for quality customer service anymore? The answer isn’t as black and white as you may think. I want to say of course they are because that is one of Presidential's strengths, but the truth is the younger generations are looking for quick and easy methods of purchasing what they want whenever they want. A few weeks ago, I witnessed my niece ordering Baskin Robbins ice cream through Uber Eats at 9:30 at night. Within 30 minutes we were eating ice cream without having to leave the comforts of home. I was gob smacked. I couldn’t believe that had just happened. She told me she uses that app all the time and almost never goes out to get food. Again, mouth hanging open, chin on floor, I couldn’t believe it. An ah ha moment, so this is who is using this service. Call me old but when I think of delivery my mind starts to circle the index in my brain of restaurants near us that offer delivery. I don’t think “I can literally have anything I want, and have it delivered to my door if I want to”. It doesn’t compute. I choose to get on the phone, place my order with an actual human being and wait for my friendly delivery man.

The point I am trying to make is that the way we buy…anything and everything…has changed. But is this good for everyone? Is it considered old school to pick up the phone and speak to an actual human being on the other end without being prompted to press 1 for English, press 2 for product information, press 3 to place your order? Our phones ring less and less at the office, but our emails are blowing up. The preferred method of communication is electronic. There is less and less human contact. So how can we offer excellent customer service to our clients if we can’t see them or speak to them? The answer is we respond to their requests quickly and we aren’t afraid to pick up the phone and actually speak with someone. We ensure that we are offering the best products and the best services. We don’t cut corners to increase our profits. We always ensure that what we provide our clients with is nothing but top shelf, whether it is consulting services or a donor wall. We make it easy for our clients so that they return again and again. We have client relationships going back over 20 years. We recognize that our clients are our lifeline and we protect and value those relationships.

So, if you are in the market for a unique and totally custom donor wall, a donor recognition program with several levels, a donor gift, a prestigious award, we are the people to call on, be it by phone, email, fax or even Skype. But don’t be surprised when we pick up the phone and call you. It may be an old-school technique, but it is effective and helps us build lasting relationships. Something that is hard to do when ordering anything on-line.