Ace Hardware—the largest hardware retail cooperative in the world—prides itself on high-quality customer service and truly connecting with their surrounding communities. Though Ace Hardware utilizes certain technologies to build a competitive advantage, the brand still advocates for the classic one-to-one engagement with customers throughout their shopping journey. Jeff Gooding, Senior Director of Marketing and Advertising at Ace Hardware, believes the pre- and post-experience components are as vital as the experience itself when it comes to creating a successful relationship with the customer.
“We have over 4,400 domestic stores with approximately 3,700 independent business owners of those stores,” Gooding explains. “As a co-op, they are the owners of the company, so the Ace corporate staff works for our retailers. They are local owners and can tailor their store to fit the needs of their communities, and our job is to provide the best and training for the owners and their teams to deliver on maniacal pursuit of customer service in every store. We need to collectively ensure we deliver on our helpful brand promise, and we work hard with our retailers to make sure we do that. The training that our retailers and their staff receive to deliver high-quality customer service are always through our brand and extend to the experience in the stores and even afterward.”