On a cloudy Tuesday, I visited with a customer about the weather, her plans for the weekend and the pile of jeans, tops and accessories which I was ringing up. Pausing to look up from the point of sale screen, I saw tears creating a wet sparkle in the eyes of my customer. She softly said “Thank you. I work at the YWCA and I want to say thank you. What you did for the women with your denim drive – you will never know what that meant to our guests.” “You are most welcome,” I said “MODE loves giving back.” Later in the day as I was helping another MODE shopper, that customer suddenly pointed to the Organization of the Week sign on the counter and stated “I want to donate to that. I love that MODE is always giving back.” Two separate customers in a day. Two lives touched and through those two lives, countless others.
Why should a company like MODE, participate in community events or give back to those in the community? Loyal customers are born out of an effort to involve our MODE businesses in the needs of our local communities. Besides the new customers that we meet through our acts of kindness, the immeasurable feeling of goodwill when we give, and the eventual financial benefits as we grow our businesses — what other long lasting seeds are planted through giving back?
- Giving back builds new connections
We can all pinpoint a time when we first met someone who would become a dear friend or a trusted mentor. Many times these relationships are found at a local community event and cultivated through conversations of working together in our communities. Stepping into the community by giving back gives us a reason to get out from behind our counter or away from our desk and into the community we live in, so that we might meet those filling a community need.
- Giving back creates a team with purpose
As business owners with an extreme focus on ensuring our businesses grow, we often forget that building a vision of doing good will rally our teams and encourage them in their own quest for living intentionally. Everybody desires something bigger than themselves to work towards. Giving our team members the opportunity to experience that “feeling” of doing something good, creates a team that respects one another and their leader in a new and profound way.
- Giving back builds trust between your business and the community it serves.
Just like the examples I shared above, everyday we come in contact with strangers that walk through our business doors. As we help women shop differently at our MODE locations, we work to build an environment in which women not only feel comfortable shopping for something that makes them feel good but also gives them a place to come for community! Creating relationships with community non-profits and community organizations with a purpose of giving back, drives that term “differently” to a whole new level. Showing our customers that we not only care about how they feel but we also truly care for those who may never become MODE customers, builds a bridge of trust between our businesses and the communities we serve in.
In 2012 at our first franchise convention, I brought in the first guest speaker that MODE Franchise Convention would see! Bob, the owner of the local Breadsmith store was our featured guest. A franchisee himself, I wanted invited Bob to come and share with our small group why he is constantly donating loaves of bread, coupons, gift cards and gift baskets and also to share why he never says no. Any group that asks for a donation receives a gift from the Fargo Breadsmith with a resounding “You bet we can do that!” Was this something that the franchisor mandated? Was this something he was trained to do? “No, it is not mandated!” he said. “I give because the community gives to me.” Each customer that walked through his doors was giving their time to shop in his bakery. He couldn’t help but give back.
My hope is that you can see why giving back is so important at MODE and why we will keep giving back locally and globally!
Live generously and Get Your MODE On!