Customer Service – Your secret weapon on the High Street by @hi_street for #indieretail

It was good to see so many people at the IRM launch event – it shows that the independent sector is alive and kicking, despite what some of the analysts say!

At Hi Street, we have a passion for promoting and supporting all independent businesses.  We recognise that, in order to survive you cannot compete on just price.  Sure, you need to provide value for money, but you also need to offer a level of service and customer attention that is second to none.

Great Customer Service Experiences…

One of my earliest experiences of great customer service was when I worked for a large accountancy (this was before I saw the light).  It was a very traditional company with partners, executive toilets parking sapces.  It also had tea ladies who came around twice a day and served tea and coffee at your desk (I’m sure this was so you didn’t lose any time working to make your own coffee).

Anyway, they always remembered what drink you had and whether you took sugar and milk.  They even remembered if you liked your tea well brewed or weak.  I remember once I have been working at a client site and hadn’t been in the office for 3 months.  It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and one of the tea ladies is making her rounds.  She stops by me, thinks for a while and then proceeds to pour me a strong cup of tea with milk.  Now that was an example of true customer service.

Small independent retailers can provide a level of customer service that the big shops cannot

I think its incumbent on all of us small independent businesses to remember this and provide a level of customer service that the big shops cannot (or will not) provide.  Even in these days of austerity, people still like to be remembered and treated well – maybe more so.

Blog thanks to Hi Street

This blog was provided by Hi Street. Hi Street is a mobile phone app that combines the reach of social media and the technology of mobile to deliver real-time, customised messages about your business to shoppers who are nearby.

Use it to tell people about your events, new products and promotions.  Or just use it to communicate.  Hi Street is dedicated to helping independent retailers increase footfall without having to offer huge discounts. –

The beauty is its flexibility – it enables you to react instantly with messages that will allow your customers to engage with you.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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