Those deemed to be of the baby boomer generation can well recall the days when their families made their regular purchases from the likes of their local butcher, baker, (note: candlestick makers had gone by then), greengrocer, bookstore, appliance dealer, petrol station / garage and so on. These retailers were an integral part of their communities and of families’ lives.
Similarly, most people had their regular electrician, plumber, mechanic to whom they turned when requiring the services of a specialist tradesman.
And, when one required professional advice or treatment they sought it from their family lawyer, accountant, bank manager, general practitioner, and dentist – regarded as pillars of that same community for whom an appointment was required, dressing up for the occasion almost mandatory, and meetings conducted formally – Mr, Mrs, or Miss generally being the accepted forms of address.
Almost without exception these relationships with retailers, tradesmen, and professional advisers, were mutually valued – most folk never considered taking their business elsewhere – business loyalties were generally not questioned and most people continued to deal with whom they’d always done business.
As with almost all aspects of life, things have changed dramatically: Single store local retailers have given way to supermarkets, chain stores, and oil company owned service stations. Neighbourhood pharmacies, bookshops, and appliance stores and the like have also made way for nationwide operations.
It seems that the ‘modern way’ is to seek the services of ‘tradies’ via an online search facility on a one-off, as required basis each time, with decisions on who to use frequently based purely on an estimate of job cost and fast timing.
However, many of the ‘old school’ generation know the benefits of maintaining ongoing business relationships with their preferred tradespeople and professional advisers – such business loyalty is a two-way street which is of value to both parties: The tradesman or professional can always rely on his regulars for his ‘bread and butter’, the long-time loyal customer can be confident he/she will usually have their requirements taken care of before those of a one-off client.
For over 30 years, The Wardrobe Company (www.thewardrobecompany.co.nz) has built a solid reputation based around reciprocal loyalty – enjoying strong long-term trading relationships with a core group of suppliers and an expanding base of valued, regular clients.