For the most part shopping for shoes is for me something completely functional. I’m not a ‘shopper’ and just don’t have the time for long sessions trying on all kinds of things. When I need shoes I go buy them. The experience can usually be summed up as:
- I find something I like
- I ask one of the store personnel for my size
- They bring me a box
- I try them on
We do this a few times and then I decide to buy something (or not) and they ring me up. It’s classic order-taking for my money. Almost anyone can do it.
Then last weekend I met Kevin Verbeeten at Leemans Shoes in Amsterdamsepoort. He not only brought me my shoes but took the time to explain to me what the difference was between the different shoes I had selected. He explained what type of material they were, what I should consider when making a choice between the different brands based on the material they were made of. He gave me a few tips on how I could wear the shoes, with what colors and styles. And he explained to me how to maintain my shoes…not just the sales pitch for the protective water spray (though I did buy the spray because he had done such a great job of helping me), but real tips on how to keep my shoes looking good and in good form for a longer time. He also helped me choose the best style for me; this is also important because I’m on my feet a lot and I want shoes that look good and feel good all day long.
Alongside everything else, I give him big points for not judging me by my looks. I didn’t walk into the store wearing my business suit. I went in wearing weekend gear. I went to the shopping center to pick up something for my daughters and popped into Leeman’s on a whim because I needed shoes. I had on old tennis shoes because I was busy with some serious cleaning at home. This is one of the biggest mistake made in customer service…judging people by their looks. Kevin made me feel special even though I knew I didn’t look special…or not special in the way I would like on a good day.
Kevin wasn’t just an order-taker or cashier; he actually sold me the shoes. The best part is that I experienced it as superior service. He was very helpful and provided me with relevant information. And he did this with real charm, flair and charisma. I wish every retail store, service desk and call center had people with just as much enthusiasm for their work and for their customers.
I told him how much I appreciated his attention to my needs and the way he explained things. Not on auto-pilot – he really seemed to be enjoying himself. I asked him about it and he told me that he had a passion for shoes and enjoyed what he did. It really comes across. I left the store smiling. That’s such a great bonus for me.
Kevin is pure gold for Leeman’s Shoes. Having the right people dealing with customers really does make a difference. Kevin, thank you for everything. Hope to see you again soon.