JackRabbit Sports: An example of good customer service

Posted on May 1, 2014 in Business Essentials, Business Transactions

When was the last time you had a good customer service experience? I mean really good customer service — memorable, like a breath of cool, fresh air on a humid day?

I had a great customer service experience with JackRabbit Sports recently, and given that I speak frequently on the subject of training your clients to pay you, I thought I’d dissect it to see what went right.

  1. I was the right target market.  Among a small handful of other sports, JackRabbit caters to runners.  I’m exploring running as a new way to keep physically fit.  They also seem to hit the 25-60 demographic, and yes, I’m in the range.
  2. It’s convenient. JackRabbit is based exclusively in New York City, where I live.
  3. They had a great TV commercial that sold their attention to the customer — not just the products. JackRabbit wasn’t about selling sneakers.  It was about making sure you had the right running shoe for your level of fitness, your body type, and your intended use.  As a total novice in the running world, I was intrigued by the videocam they setup on a treadmill, so they could watch your running gait.  That compelled me to go into the store.   Having had problems with my knees in the past, I wanted to be sure I had the right running form.
  4. They were really attentive.  Ever go into a store and be made to feel like somehow you’re intruding on the conversation that a couple of 20-something store clerks are having about where they went clubbing the night before, how they squeezed into the latest fashion concoction, and how dare that bitch who stole her boyfriend show her face even though they’re not together anymore (picture them, too, with a mouthful of loudly chewed gum)? By contrast, Robert, one of the staff members, greeted me courteously, asked my name, and listened intently as I described what I was trying to achieve and the concerns I had.
  5. They were knowledgeable and welcoming. Robert answered all of my questions — even the painfully simple ones — thoughtfully.  It would have been easy to pooh-pooh me, a total newbie whose idea of running is 2-minute intervals on a treadmill, interspersed with 1 minute walking.  Plus, he had a good sense of humor (a real plus, for this former occasional stand-up comedienne).  As a runner, he had personal experience (as well as store and product training) to draw upon.
  6. The experience matched the commercial. That was the best part (well, okay, aside from the part when I was told post-videocam session that I had a strong and even running gait). The expectations set by the commercial were actually met in real life.  We did the videocam thing, which I was looking forward to. I got a proper “diagnosis” of my running style and which kind of running shoe would best meet my needs.  I wasn’t even steered to the most expensive shoe in the store! Robert was fun, patient, and well-informed. The staff smiled in the commercials — they smiled in the store. All of the high points that the commercial hit, I experienced.  And that’s a key to getting your clients to pay you — and to come back again.
  7. They reward loyalty. If memory serves, I get 10% off all future purchases, simply for having made my purchase of Brooks Defyance 3 running shoes (and a nifty pair of running socks to go with them).  Sure, I could have bought them slightly cheaper online, but I would have missed out on the personal attention.

Will I go back? Absolutely. Have I mentioned this experience to bunches of friends and colleagues? You betcha.

Now for the two-fold test: (1) Taking these concepts and applying them to my own business and (2) Improving my running endurance by next Spring.

What improvements have you made to ensure good customer service in your own business?


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