Be Like Nordstrom

Renowned for legendary customer service, Nordstrom, an upscale national fashion retailer, can offer non profits leading ideas for superb benefit auctions.

Exceptional Service Creates Loyalty

Exceptional Service Creates Loyalty

Every time I shop at Nordstrom I feel fantastic, and I always buy, happily. Why? Because I receive personalized service in an enjoyable place where it’s easy to find what I want.

In juxtaposition to a Nordstrom experience, can you imagine shopping at another store where the display was abysmal: items are jammed together, there is no room to pass by other customers, items in dim light, signage is so small it’s impossible to read. What if the most profitable and exciting merchandise had no sales signage or details are left to your imagination? How about if there is no one to answer your questions and if check-out is a tangled conga-line?

Unfortunately, I’ve just described too many poorly designed Silent Auction and Live Auctions. Here’s the good news: it’s easy to provide splendid service.

Right now, attracting and retaining fundraising donors is a key priority; take some tips from the pros.

Learn from Nordstrom’s and Hampton Towle Farm Deli’s extraordinary service and display techniques. Apply these proven ideas at your next auction fundraiser for breakthrough results.

* Foremost, focus on catering to your donors’ needs, individually.

* Personally, call all of your top supporters. Let them be the first to know about auction items they might like.

* Ask donors what they would like! Then go get it!

* While you’re on the phone, brief them with exciting news about your cause and share success stories.

* Follow up and send them an auction item description and web link. Answer any questions promptly.

* Design your Silent Auction and Live Auction displays to make it easy to bid high. Hint: on auction night, we are in the retail business.

* Spread out your Silent Auction items so at least 2 people can bid on each item. Think: upscale boutique!

* Create wide aisles so your guests can easily reach their favorite items.

* Illuminate your Silent Auction and Live Auction Displays.

* Place big “point of sale” signs next to each auction item. Use BIG bullets for easy guest reading. BIG font size!

* Assign gregarious trained volunteers to answer questions and guide your guests.

* Streamline your auction check-out and consider auction software to ease stress and increase guest enjoyment.

Go that extra mile – it really means the world to your donors!

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