Advertising ends at the point of customer contact. You either deliver the experience you’ve promised or you’re dead meat. In a previous post, I discussed how the physical attributes of your building could adversely affect traffic. Today I’ll share a tale of two salespeople, of a sale made and a sale lost.
I found a men’s clothing store while wandering through the shops of the “European Village” having a clearance on black leather jackets. I wasn’t shopping or had any intention to buying anything but my wife mentioned that I might look good in a black leather jacket (she feels I look a bit disheveled when I wear my 12 year old winter jacket).
I found one in my size (perhaps a bit short) but it seemed too tight. I’d put it back on the rack when the saleslady told me that there was a removable liner in the jacket and she’d found that the jacket was plenty warm without it. She took the liner out for me. I tried it on again – tight around the wrists. The saleslady unsnapped the cuffs – saying that most people wear them this way. Hmm, she sounds like she knows what she’s talking about and it’s forty percent off. I’ll take it.
The lady in the “Made In Wisconsin” shop seemed busy doing something at the cash register. It was late on a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of winter. She wasn’t dealing with any customers. No greeting, kiss my foot or anything. I came across a package of “Popcorn Soup.” Intrigued I looked over at the salesperson hoping to catch her eye and start up a conversation. She was studiously avoiding me. Guess I don’t really need to buy a six-dollar package of soup after all.
One look, a smile even if the salesperson had asked me if I’d ever had popcorn soup before would have made me take out my wallet and gladly handed her my money. Instead, I put the package back on the shelf and walked out. No “Thank You” no acknowledgement whatsoever.
I mentioned these experiences to the “Village” owner. Everyone has a bad day but if he wants more locals to shop, he’ll need to work on customer service training. There are plenty of places to be taken for granted. When a customer walks through the front door of the “Village” they should feel like they're on vacation. They should walk into a European tourist experience – warm, open, friendly and helpful. Just like the men’s clothing store.
Danke, leather jacket lady!