Your Hours Of Operation Don't Make You World Class

At 10:55am this morning I found myself standing outside the Apple store in Chicago.  I was joined by about 30 other people, all of us waiting for the doors to open at 11am.  It was very cold.

A small group of people were angrily demanding that the woman inside the store "just open the doors already!"  I almost joined the angry mob, but then something stopped me.

The store opens at 11am.  Not 10:55am.  Not even 10:59am.  It says so on their web site and right there on the front door.  Why should they open the doors for us just because we arrived early?

Some of you will say, in this economy you should never leave customers standing outside your store.  Well I for one am getting really tired of the in this economy argument.

Honoring your published hours is not the problem, and it certainly won't put anyone out of business!

What will put you out of business these days - and probably always - is literally and figuratively opening late.  Or refusing to engage your customers in a dialog.  Or being so arrogant as to not feel the need to repeatedly demonstrate your value [not necessarily via lower prices].

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World class brands don't need a global financial crisis to understand how to treat customers right.

World class brands have always known that respect, value and communication are true differentiators ... not hours of operation.

So next time some angry guy is pounding on the glass doors at 10:55am, don't kowtow to his demands.  But once he's inside, make sure to knock his socks off!