Gold Medal Service Award winning retailers weigh in on overcoming challenges this past year.
Beck's Shoes team member helps fit a customer

From staffing issues to supply chain headaches, retailers across the board have their hands full. But that has not stopped the best independent footwear retailers — like those honored with Footwear Insight’s Gold Medal Service Award — from finding ways to continue to thrive. Previously, in the November/December 2021 issue of Footwear Insight, where the full list of the stores honored with the 2021 Gold Medal Service Award for Customer Service was revealed, we asked retailers to discuss customer service best practices in today’s evolving retail environment. Here, several of those retailers talk more about the key challenges they have faced over the past several months, including supply chain, inventory and staffing issues. And they discuss how they are finding solutions.

What were some of the biggest challenges this past year when it came to delivering great customer service? How did you overcome those challenges?

“The biggest challenges for us have been not from the customer, but having team members to service them. A company’s culture is something that can make or break an organization so in order to not just hire team members but retain them we have to have the buy-in all the way down to the ground level or it just doesn’t work. We invest in our team just like they invest with us. Creating personal relationships with each member of the team will translate into an increased level of engagement that will not just benefit your business, but your customers as well. As for the supply chain issue — it is not unique to our industry, and at this point most all consumers are aware of the challenges. Our team has done an incredible job of adapting and getting what products we are able to as soon as they become available. We are not stuck on specific stock numbers or brands, but we focus on the silhouettes that are needed to service our community and so far we have been able to find those from someone.” — Adam A. Beck, Beck’s Shoes

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Footwear Insight

is published by Formula4 Media, a leading media company in the footwear industry. The magazine is available in print and online.

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