In Brand Identity, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Retail


Pier 1 imports featured in new business book titled The Soulful Experience. 

Retail store in Lone Tree, Colorado provided a soulful experience to author and marketing expert Diane P. Ferraro

Pier 1 imports might seem like an odd choice, especially when the home goods category is so competitive with online and offline retailers. The catchy commercials during the holidays show that this store has unexpected offerings, but when a woman hears voices from a nutcracker or pillow, my guess is that someone was doing a little post-happy hour shopping.

Why I chose Pier 1 imports as a company that delivered a Soulful Experience is three-fold:

1) The online shopping was easy and the price was right;

2) The product I decided not to keep (four patio chairs) could be returned in the

local store;

3) When I arrived at the store, the staff went out of their way to help me.

The day I drove to the store to return the chairs was also the day the strip mall’s property manager was repaving half of the parking lot. There were so many cars waiting for a space to open up that one may have thought it was Christmas Eve. Navigating the narrow makeshift lanes was challenging in my SUV, but I finally found a spot between two cones and uncomfortably close to Hooters at lunchtime. It was the farthest spot from Pier 1 but I figured I’d get my steps in for the day with a few trips to carry the chairs inside.

No sooner than I pulled the first chair out of the back than a young man with an apron was running towards me yelling “I’m here to help!” I looked around to see who he was calling out to, then realized it was me. Not an elderly person, nor an attractive young lady, just your average middle-aged woman, with four red patio chairs in the back of the SUV.

This young employee at Pier 1 imports, about 20 years old, had a furniture dolly and was at my car in under a minute. I must have looked surprised, as he apologized for startling me. He then proceeded to apologize for the parking lot mess, and said he was glad I decided to make the effort to visit their store. I told him I was only returning items I purchased online and he thanked me for coming in.

The manager was there holding the door open, walked me to the register, and naturally asked me if I wanted to exchange the chairs for anything else. When I declined and said I just wanted to return them and get the credit back on my Visa, he didn’t push or prod and instead thanked me for coming in, completed the transaction, and invited me back to the store to shop when I had more time. I was in and out of the store in five minutes, and was actually smiling.

The Soulful Experience - New business book - Diane P Ferraro

This was a splendid example of a Soulful Experience. I’m not sure if other Pier 1 Imports operate on the same level, but it doesn’t really matter to me. All that I care about is the local store cares about me as an individual and they went out of their way to make sure I had a positive experience when I was making a RETURN. You bet I will be heading back to that specific store in Lone Tree (a suburb of Denver, near Park Meadows Mall) the next time I need new pillows, candles or other items for my home.

Read about other brands that provide The Soulful Experience and learn how to take your own company, store, restaurant, hotel or salon from so-so to Soulful in my just-published book titled The Soulful Experience. Order today for only $11.95 on Amazon (free shipping for Prime members), Barnes & Noble or Westbow Press. 

(Excerpt from new business book titled The Soulful Experience: Take Your Company from So-So to Soulful and Exceed the Expectations of Your Customers – and Employees.)

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