Customer Service — The Secret Sauce of Lexington’s Independent, Locally Owned Retail Stores

Avram Baskin

Avram Baskin

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Customers value customer service. At Lexington’s independent, locally owned retail stores, customer service goes beyond product knowledge and developing personal relationships with customers. I have three examples  of customer service I personally observed that show how these businesses provide a level of service that Amazon, the national chains, and “big box” stores can never match.  

The first took place at Signature Stationers. An elderly woman came into the shop. She was clearly having a hard time walking, and she was a bit out of breath. One of the owners, Marjorie White Baskin, brought the customer a chair and took her order as if it was a restaurant. Marjorie went around the store and filled the customer’s order, and then rang her up. Then Marjorie carried the customer’s bag to the restaurant around the corner where the customer was having lunch.

The second example took place at Michelson’s Shoes. I was heading to the back entrance of the store when I saw Jerry Michelson with a stack of shoes by a customer’s car. The elderly gentleman in the car had circulation problems and it was hard for him to walk, so Jerry brought the shoes to him.  

The third took place at Ride Studio Cafe.  There was a customer in the parklet in the front of the shop who was having a problem pumping up her tire, so Dave Dzikiewicz, one of the baristas, went out and helped her out.

The customers in each of these instances truly appreciated the fact that Marjorie, Jerry, and Dave went the extra step to help them out.  That’s the level of service that earns loyal customers and return visits. 

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