For some campus technology stores, the statewide lockdowns provided the impetus to develop new promotions and processes.
But, for one group of stores in New Jersey, a state that experienced devastating consequences from the rapid spread of Covid-19, the lockdowns prompted some businesses to get back to the basics.
That was the case for Nicole Pisano, general manager for all of the Rutgers University
technology stores, which include kite+key, Rutgers Tech Store, TeKCheK and Rutgers
Computer Repair. To this day, customers have yet to be allowed within their brick-and-mortar
They continue to be incredibly cautious, as well as cognizant of the ways in which
their operations will impact the spread of Covid-19.
“It's completely changed how we do business,” says Pisano. “We went from a highly in-store, in-person, face-to-face, one-on-one customer experience, to now having to do all of our business either over the phone, via ecommerce or email. We've really had to adapt in that fashion.”
Due to disruptions in manufacturer supply chains, Pisano chose not to implement new
promotions or sales. In fact, she canceled a previously-scheduled sale because her stores
simply couldn’t get the new stock they were ordering. Instead, Pisano focused on customer communication and satisfaction.
In her own words, her top priority has been “to keep things moving.” No matter what challenges arise, Pisano and her staff prioritize transparent customer communication.
“Constant communication with customers is really important. Even if there's a delay due to a
manufacturer shortage or a shipment, I think if you're keeping up constant contact with your
customers, they get the feeling that you are working with them, not against them,” says Pisano. “I think that goes a long way."
“And, for me, I think the biggest reason why this wasn't as painful as it could have been would
probably be my team. The team I have is super customer-focused; they really try to do anything they can to meet the customer's needs and exceed expectations. So, it's easy to shift gears and be adaptable and flexible when you have a great team that’s completely on board.”