The quality of style is not strained

Indeed, we are always seeking to satisfy the interest/psyche of any potential client and there is an ever so gracious style of engagement, which is required to do so. As Steve Jobs affirms, “Get closer than ever to your customer. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.” In the business of style, gracious engagement supersedes all. We are not doing any client a favour by serving him/her. He/she is doing a favour by allowing us the opportunity to do so. The quality of style is not strained.

I venture to treat with this intangible asset because I continuously encounter the malaise, for the want of a better expression, of poor customer service. I dare say that there should be no such thing, in transacting with prospective consumers, for style and its correlative practices ought to be performed with grace and without vulgar, overt prompting. In a word, ‘soft sell’ has overturned the hard ‘sell’ approach. It’s not about the sale, it’s about the experience.

I preoccupy myself with this value on style, this week, for I recently interfaced with a graceful fashion retailer, who gives credence to this credo on excellent service and experiential candour. Naseeba Kothdiwala of Kooti’s Clothing relishes the connection she makes with her clients. She subscribes to the notion that loyalty is priceless, even beyond on-spot customer satisfaction. The family-based business has been able to build long-lasting relations with repeat clients, servicing a wide cross-section of persons interested in the niche area of special occasion dresses.

My advice to any service industry provider, in an effort to attain best value in styling service distinction, is to prioritise imaginative publicity outreach status, strategise creative merchandising access, foster interactive social media networking and indulge in hands-on harnessing of the best possible related resources. Bringing a family orientation to bear in targeting loyalty brings a modern, fresh, intimate and serviceable quality, not to sales, but to image consultancy and personalised styling, in the business of selling fashion. I was heartened to hear the many success stories of  prominent retailers, I interviewed, of the capacity of their multifaceted, nationwide clientele, in Trinidad and Tobago, an indicator which gives testimony to the worth of capitalizing on the power of charm, by continually captivating customers. 

Despite the diversity of service industry practitioners, within the creative sector, they all bring intelligent, logistical, brand-worthy identity to their individual style agenda. It is essential to hone one’s particular composite customer service skills set to consistently woo the responding demographic and to attract alternative consumers. Be they pageant titleholders, media personalities, soca stars and luminary significant others, as in the case at Kooti’s, returning to any given fashion emporium, maintaining sustainable human relations for a best-practice successful enterprise, is the order of the day. Engendering confidence fuels the passion, to go the distance, to source the best quality brands in the global fashion market to satisfy your loyal clientele. That explains why the Kothdiwalas go as far afield as Istanbul, New York, Beirut, Sydney, Amsterdam, to afford their clients, edgy modernism, classic sophistication and sheer fabulousness, empowering them to cherish their dearest dress memories. 

Kothdiwala speaks for all proactive, entrepreneurial retailers when she emphasizes, “but we can market and strategise as much as we’d like, if our customers aren’t satisfied, we haven’t achieved anything. To reiterate Maya Angelou’s quote, a customer “will never forget how you made them feel”, so ultimately, the style of your service should never be strained, it should be effortlessly effused.

Richard Young

Fashion Consultant / Creative Director

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