New service feature for Bauerfeind quality partners See your store through the customer’s eyes
The Bauerfeind Quality Partner Program (BQP) is introducing a new service feature in 2018: an on-site analysis of the retail space that will give medical supply retailers inspiration for designing their sales zones. Storch und Beller in Karlsruhe, Germany, was the first company to try out the “view from the outside” scheme.
“It was an extremely successful appointment , with many ‘aha’ moments,” says Carmen Nachtmann, a member of the management team at Storch und Beller & Co. GmbH, summing up Hendrik Daniel’s visit. Bauerfeind’s product display project coordinator carefully scrutinized the roughly 500 square meters of sales space in the Kaiserstraße branch in Karlsruhe last October. His aim was to help the medical supply retailer team to see their store from the customer’s perspective, in a bid to identify both strengths and weaknesses. “Sometimes an outside perspective is missing,” says Carmen Nachtmann. “His visit gave us some ideas about how we can showcase ourselves even more attractively and further enhance the sales experience for our customers. And all involving surprisingly little effort!” she reports.
“Meeting and greeting” the customer
A key focus of the inspection was the entrance area on the first floor. “There was a relatively large area here that I was never entirely happy with,” says Carmen Nachtmann. “We have a spacious display here of important over-the-counter sales items such as walking frames, and this means that the customer didn’t have an obvious path to follow.” The suggestion made by the Bauerfeind project coordinator was an instant hit. In future, a small reception desk will ensure that customers have an immediate contact point , and customer navigation in the store, which has several levels, will be improved. “We even already had the necessary furniture,” the manager says happily.
There were also some tips about another area on the first floor, an alcove directly opposite the main cash desk where customers could be advised about incontinence products. “We actually thought that we’d come up with quite a good solution for that one,” Carmen Nachtmann says. “But Mr. Daniel showed us that we hadn’t taken our idea all the way through to its logical conclusion…” He suggested that a folding screen would allow the conversation to take place in greater privacy. “A fantastic idea! He also recommended putting a small sofa against the wall , so that customers who had stood for long enough could sit down. And we have room for it.”
Successful boutique style
The breast prosthesis department on the mezzanine level attracted praise. “When we refurbished the branch a few years ago, we made the conscious decision to go for a boutique style. We may add a sports area here soon. Bauerfeind also showed us various possibilities for displaying products of this kind,” Carmen Nachtmann reports. After all , when it comes to over-the-counter sales, displaying products well – combined with professional advice – is an essential part of selling high-quality products at a fair price.
Carmen Nachtmann is herself still taken by surprise every time she goes up to the top floor, home to the orthotics department , which includes a range of supports. “We originally had one computer here, but subsequently installed a second one. None of us had noticed that there was a back panel missing, with a jumble of cables on show for all to see.” The visit , which quite literally included a “view from the outside” also gave rise to ideas for the front of the building, store windows, and entrance area. For instance, the inspection of the store’s facade revealed that newly installed parking signs were obscuring the name “Storch und Beller” on the building. “Since our staff enter the building by the door at the back, nobody had noticed,” Carmen Nachtmann explains. And there were other suggestions as well , including better lighting for the entrance area, adding the words “medical retailer” to the store window, and promoting the product portfolio there too. “These
are all points which we’re going to do something about.”
Small changes, huge impact
For Storch und Beller, the visit by the Bauerfeind service partner certainly yielded results. “I particularly liked the very constructive atmosphere surrounding the inspection of our branch. Mr. Daniel was really good at taking our individual circumstances and needs into account ,” Carmen Nachtmann says. “I also thought it was great that such a huge impact could be achieved from very small changes – even just the way that boxed products are arranged.”
The member of the management team is of the view that the visit will have a long-lasting impact. Based on the successful pilot visit , she would now like to take a look at the other Storch und Beller branches – nine in total – and make improvements where necessary. “I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this service offered by the BQP program to any medical supply retailer,” says Carmen Nachtmann.
View from the outside
The new product display service feature is designed to raise quality partners’ awareness of a valuable asset – their own business premises. Bauerfeind…
- visits quality partners and provides on-the-spot advice in their business premises,
- analyzes the retail space and, where appropriate, the flow of operations from the street right through to the measuring cubicle,
- identifies strengths and weaknesses,
- offers continuous support in the areas of product display and product portfolio.
Images: Udo Schönewald