In This Chapter
Virgin Entertainment Group
The retail market is highly competitive. If consumers don't like what they see in your stores, they might simply take their business elsewhere. Retailers understand that today, more than ever, they must deliver a memorable and positive customer experience. For companies that focus on entertainment-related products, such as music and movies, the competition is even more intense.
Although mom-and-pop stores still exist, the trend has been toward larger chains and giant multinational corporations. To win the hearts and minds of customers, many large retail stores need to provide top-notch service as well as a memorable experience. They may provide some form of entertainment in the store itself (such as a light-and-sound show or memorabilia), or they may furnish kiosks where customers can listen to music or sample movies, which helps close the deal faster.
The key to customer satisfaction is the same whether you're in a small or large store: Exceed customer expectations.
In this chapter, we profile Virgin Entertainment Group and, in particular, its U.S. Virgin Megastores. The IT group servicing these stores realized that it needed to provide its customers an experience that was always on. This goal meant that the hardware and software used in the stores — especially the software that completed sales — had to be maintained properly, which led the company to deploy an aggressive service monitoring strategy.