A nice touch

I placed a small order with Garage Grown Gear on Friday, April 2nd (Good Friday of Easter weekend). The order arrived at my home on the 6th. The order was complete and arrived surprisingly quick. Kudos to GGG.

What I really wanted to call out was the packing list in the box. There on the bottom of the packing list was a simple handwritten thank you note from Lloyd, a GGG employee, I assume.

It was nice to get a simple thank you, nothing showy or over the top. Nothing that made it sound like the employee had done me some huge favor by fulfilling my order or that I needed to reciprocate on. To me, it just seemed like simple heart-felt appreciation.

Sales associates: Remember common courtesy when working with your customers. “Thank you”, “Please” and “May I” should be a significant parts of your vocabulary. Say “Hello” and “Good bye” to your customers. Look for simple ways to add something a little extra to the service you provide. Remember what seems insignificant to you may have big impact on your customer.

Store managers; Set the expectation that you want employees to practice common courtesy not only when dealing with customers but also with fellow employees. Make sure that you recognize your employees when they do the little things for your customers.

Thank you Lloyd. I appreciate having you as someone that I spend my money with.

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”

…I am going to have to go home and think about it.

Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 6/26/2019

As I strolled up to the door of the store in a sleety squall, I noticed a woman in her 50s getting out of a new Lexus LS also heading for the door.  I held the door so she could get out of the weather more quickly.  (I was not being chauvinistic just courteous, I would have held the door for anyone.)

As she passed, I observed, “That is a beautiful car.”

“Do you thinks so?” she responded.  “I just got it and I love it.”

“Yes,” I said, “it is quite nice”

“Thank you,” she said as I noticed her Rolex watch.

Why do I mention the Lexus and the Rolex?  Well, anyone in sales learns to recognize simple things about their customers that might help them learn a bit more about the customers.  To me, this person was a person of means.

Once inside the store, we headed in different directions but our paths crossed later again in the camping equipment area.  (Yes, it was an outdoor store.)  While I was  looking over some product, the woman that I came in with was approached by a sales associate who offered assistance.

“I came in to pick up a headlamp.  My friend has one and she really likes it.”

I thought to myself that she was a transactional customer with few requirements.  I figured a few questions from the sales assoiciate would have her on her way with a headlamp in a matter of minutes.  But I was mistaken.

Rather than asking her what she would use the headlamp for or what headlamp headlamp her friend had and liked, the sales associate went into an in-depth clinic on headlamps.

He talked about type of bulbs, lumens versus watts, brightness levels, strap types, brands available, run time claimed by the manufacturer, actual run time, maximum beam distance, red lens options, strobe or non-strobe functions, rechargeable, non-rechargeable and combinations of both, helmet compatibility, blah, blah, blah.  He continued to talk puking product information on her at a truly amazing rate.  As he droned on, never asking her any questions or checking for understanding, you could see the shopper glaze over and take a step back.

After what seemed like an eternity, he finally stopped.  It was at this point that the shopper looked at him with a confused look on her face and said, “You have given me more than enough to think about.  I guess I am going to have to go home and think about it.”  The sales associate simply replied, “Well if you think of any other questions, I will be around” as he turned and walked away.

The woman turned and walked towards the door.

An easy sale completely messed up by the sales associate.  Here was a woman of means who simply wanted a headlamp, maybe like her friends.  Price was not going to be an issue.  A few simple questions would have gotten her a fine headlamp that probably would have more than satisfied her needs.  Instead, her attempt to simply pick up a headlamp was thwarted by an incompetent yet well-meaning sales associate.