Are You Memorable?

What Happens In A.C....

 I just got back from celebrating my 29th birthday in Atlantic City. (Don’t roll your eyes, a lady is allowed an unlimited amount of times to turn “29”.)   Although I am bound by the age-old “what happens in A.C., stays in A.C.” law, I still came back with a story to share.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

After arriving, we donated a fairly large sum of money at the blackjack tables in a very short time span, so we decided to try our luck at shopping instead. We set off to The Pier Shops at Caesars, which was once the perfect blend of world-class shopping, dining and an amazing three-level water and light show, set to music.  This magical destination is built on a 900 foot pier over the Atlantic Ocean. A bit of backstory- I once walked this mall full of hope and promise in a hardhat, amongst construction debris, selecting a spot for  an off-site sales office for one of my new construction projects. Fast forward five years or so and the luxurious high-end condominium project is still just a big patch of sand along the ocean and my dream mall (shopping + beach!), is in foreclosure.  A sign of the times I suppose.  I’ve been to this mall several time since then but something was off this visit, aside from the surprising number of vacancies. At first I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Midway through the 2nd floor, we spent over an hour in one store, having a great time shopping and laughing with the salespeople. Finally we took our shopping bags, waved goodbye and moved on to the next store.  And that’s when it struck me... The thing that was so unusual was the overwhelmingly bad attitude of the sales staff in most of the stores! Here we are, four girls off on a birthday adventure, money in our pockets (what’s left after blackjack anyway) and the sales staff barely greeted us when we walked in- let alone tried to make a connection.  It was crazy.  This inspired long discussions and 
analysis of customer service and sales with my best friend, who is also a sales manager.  At one point my friend was torn between two purses at a high-end specialty shop. Even with us exclaiming things like “OMG, I think this is the one”, and debates on whether the traditional monogram pattern was the better investment, etc. the sales staff was not engaging. Don’t get me wrong, if we had a specific question they were polite and briefly responded but you would think that a store that sells accessories that cost more than my first car would teach salespeople the importance of customer service and interaction.

It Pays To Have Good People

It turns out there were less than a handful of stores that I would rate close to a "10" after two visits to the mall during our stay.  I didn’t notice at the time but in the end, there was a direct correlation between:

1. Energy/attitude of the sales staff
2. Amount of time spent in each store
3. Amount of money spent in each store

Best Of The Best

Since there were so many duds, I thought it only fair to point out the places with the best service during my stay in Atlantic City.  It's the individuals we encountered that really made our trip extra-memorable...

• IL MULINO A++
• MAC A+ 
Day 1  (Day 2 C- different staff)
• JUICY COUTURE A+
• STARBUCKS  B+
• APPLE  A-
 (would have been A+ if they had my new phone in stock) 

Lessons...

The Takeaways From My Birthday Adventure Are Threefold: 
1- Never lose focus on the importance of excellent customer service, making a connection with potential buyers and regular sales training.  This can mean “make it or break it”, now more than ever.  2- Gift certificates are awesome, for both giving or receiving... (Thank my friends & family who inspired our big gift certificate event- see below).  And 3- Stay away from the blackjack tables.