Dunn Richmond1

November 22, 2021

Workshop to help businesses improve customer experience is Dec. 7

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Experts say that businesses can easily lose sales because they fail to make a good first impression on customers. A hybrid workshop designed to help retailers become more successful is scheduled next month courtesy of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Illinois Small Business Development Center.

The free event, “Creating a Customer Experience (inside and out)!” is from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 7. Participants can attend in person at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale, or via Zoom.  Sign-in starts at 7:30 a.m. SIU is committed to protecting the community, so those attending the workshop in person must follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols and wear masks.

“We are excited to bring an award-winning consultant to campus who will present a lot of actionable tips to help retailers grow their businesses,” Greg Bouhl, director of entrepreneurship and business development, said.

Experts offers advice

Lyn Falk, president RetailWorks Inc., an award-winning interior design, branding and consulting firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, , will be the guest speaker. She has shared her expertise in retail design, consumer behavior, business science and environmental psychology with retailers, corporations and business professionals for more than 30 years, helping them to create retail spaces that are more appealing, productive and purposeful to help people sell merchandise.

Her clients are a diverse group and include more than 35 large industries such as Harley-Davidson, Mercury Marine, Miller Brewing Company, S.C. Johnson, the Kohler Company, and Road America, as well as hundreds of smaller independent companies.

Suzanne Rafenstein, an expert with more than 35 years experience in helping retailers, will also share her knowledge.

Various topics covered

The assortment of relevant topics highlighted during the workshop will include how to:

  • Create in-store displays, storefronts, window displays and layouts that attract attention, get customers interested and reflect the brand.
  • Brand and embellish your online presence.
  • Make signs that customers will read.
  • Study the ways aromas, acoustics and illumination affect the shopping experience.
  • Find the right fixtures for in-store displays.
  • Make lasting impressions.

Sign up now

While there is no cost to participate in the workshop, pre-registration is required. Seating is limited for the in-person session and available on a first-come, first-served basis at ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/35436, or by calling 618-536-2424 or emailing sbdc@siu.edu.

In addition, storefront reviews will be available at no cost on Dec. 7 and 8. Contact Bouhl at greg@siu.edu for more information.

To learn more

The Illinois Small Business Development Center is a unit of SIU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development, which provides a wide variety of business development and innovation services to students, faculty, staff and community members throughout the region. For more details about the IL SBDC at SIU, visit sbdc.siu.edu, email sbdc@siu.edu or call 618-536-2424.