'Brands need to provide a luxury customer experience’
Why all brands can take a leaf out of the book of the luxury sector to treat customers like royalty.
On a life history in luxury retail, Peter Garcia joins our podcast theatre with host Seth Adler this week and shares that his initial attraction was actually interaction with the client.
Following in-store and design successes, Peter experienced training which provided him "a ladder with rungs to go from Point A to Point B". After making his way up that ladder at Bloomingdale's, he helped open the Mansion on Madison for Ralph Lauren, which in his mind solidified the fact that he had overcome his transition from Venezuela to New York City.
He shares lessons learned along the way, including how to treat every customer like royalty. Peter explains, it's not about selling, it's about creating a relationship of trust and guidance through a true understanding of that customer’s life.
“My sense of customer experience is that all brands have caught up to luxury in realising that they need to provide a luxury customer experience for the consumer.”
You have to sell yourself
“I'm of the opinion, especially if you're in sales, that the first thing that you have to sell is you have to sell yourself. If you sell yourself, you can sell anything.”
Living the brand
“I'm very prone to work with, and I have been since then, working with companies that have a culture. It's super interesting. All of a sudden, when you went to my house, my whole house was Ralph Lauren… My sheets, my towels, my throws, my pillows, my clothes of course.
“I lived the brand. It's the first time in my life that. And then you become a real ambassador when you live the brand. It's pure, it's coming from here and you're not bullshitting.”
Digital lacks a personal touch
“It's not always about just selling something, but it's about developing a relationship. If somebody is around the corner, they'll come in just to say ‘hello’. They say, ‘Hey. I miss you, I haven't seen you for a while. I want to say hello. Bye’. Then, you create an environment that is based on trust. Now, we are in a digital world, I think it's very difficult.
“It may be because I'm from an older generation, but many times if I have the choice of talking to somebody and the phone, or doing it on the computer, I'd rather talk to the person. I feel better taken care of.
“Yes, digital is giving you the assortment, the free shipping, perhaps a better price. It’s very easy to return, just send your return sticker and whatever. But how do you personalise that? It's almost impossible.
“I notice that when I'm talking to my bank or I'm talking to Apple, whomever I'm talking to, they always have little window pops that said, ‘Would you like to have a conversation?’ I always decline it, because I don't want to talk to a bot. Even if it's a real person, I don’t want to talk to them in that way.”