The first group puts themselves on the pedestal. These ego-inflated associates believe they always know more than the customer or, even worse, believe they're in some way better than their customer. Most customers, not surprisingly, can't stand it when these employees peer down at them from the pedestal.
Other associates end up sitting on their pedestal. Sometimes they're lazy and sometimes they're lackadaisical, but whatever the reason, it's not a productive place. I'm sure these employees think they're helping their customers, but how can you do that from a pedestal?
Another group of associates put the products on their pedestal. I'd say that the majority of retailers fall into this group. It is a lot better than putting yourself on a pedestal, but it's especially not ideal for specialty retailers to do. I like to think that instead of putting products on a pedestal, we should (figuratively speaking) put them on a platter and present them to the customer.
Last but not least, there's a small group that has a pedestal for each customer. From the moment the customer steps foot into the business the goal is to put the customer on the pedestal. And they do this if it's the customer's first or one-hundredth.
It's the small details of the experience that place the customer on the pedestal. From the engaging welcome to the invitation to return, everything the employee does keeps the customer on that pedestal. The best part is that customers always spend more when they're up on that pedestal.
Putting customers on a pedestal is the essence of creating and delivering extraordinary experiences. If that's your goal, the bigger challenge isn't how we intend to use our pedestals, but how successful we are at getting the customer on, and keeping them on, that pedestal.
So let me ask, are you maximizing your pedestal?