A nice finish

Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 8/8/2016

I stopped at the local Outlet Mall the other day to do some shopping and some observation.  It was a warm and sunny day and may of the stores had their doors open to deal with the heat.

Being a fan of the brand and a citizen of the PNW, I stopped by the Columbia Sportswear Outlet where they had a great sale going on.  I quickly found several items that I was shopping for so I headed to the registers where there were a number of waiting cashiers.

“I can help you right here,” came a greeting from the nearest cashier.

During the transaction, I noticed that a name tag affixed to his jacket.  I thought it odd with the stores so warm that a cashier would be wearing outerwear.  So, I asked him if he was warm.

“No, actually I am quite comfortable,” he replied as he handed me my change.  I thought that would be the end of our conversation but he continued apparently excited to talk about the jacket. “The jacket is made of Omni-Shield™ and it is really comfortable,” he said as he carefully folded and bagged my purchases.

Nice finish.

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A whole mess of strikes

Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 3/14/2016

Version 2

My wife and I went to our local bike shop to do some browsing. (Yes, some customers do just want to look around.) Entering the shop, we walked right into the middle of a very excited conversation with one voice louder than all others. Looking around, I discovered the voice belonged to an overly friendly employee that had obviously trapped a helpless customer. With his purchases clasped tightly in his hand and his bike lights already blazing and flashing, the customer was trying to inch towards the door while the employee continued to regale him with wild tales of his own recent bicycling adventures. The employee was talking so loudly; it appeared he missed the day in kindergarten when they teach about the difference between your indoor and outdoor voice as his carried clearly throughout the relatively small store.

My wife and I glanced at each other as we hurried past hoping that he would not engage us. Safely in the store, my wife commented about his excessive volume and his overly familiar behaviors.  Neither of which are characteristics we appreciate in a salesperson.

As my wife and I commenced our browsing, another couple walked through the doorway. Seeing his chance for escape, the trapped customer scurried through the open doors and into the night. Unfortunately, the couple walked right into the line of fire of the Loud, Eager And Friendly clerk. Let’s just call him LEAF. As a student of retail, I figured this was a customer interaction worth watching.

Continue reading “A whole mess of strikes”