I’m sorry I haven’t written in over a month. I could make excuses. Maybe I’ll just cut right into the topic.
I just re-read parts 1 & 2 to make sure I don’t repeat myself. Here’s links to the first 2 in case you feel like some light reading.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Retail which has provided me with almost nothing, other than these lists. It gets a little crazy around December with all the Christmas shopping. People get a little annoying. I’m a trained soldier in dealing with said people, but my patience wears thin from time to time as well. I am human of course.
- If you are a human being that is unhappy with a product, you are probably spitting mad, and looking for a verbal confrontation. That’s probably the only thing in your mind that’s going to make the disappointment and anger subside. So who better to take your day out on, then some poor teenager who makes minimum wage to work (possibly seasonally) at the store you purchased the product from. Sometimes the product you buy will direct you back to the store for your customer service issues. Other times, you might have a number on the box that you can call to talk directly to the manufacturer……which you will ignore, and come into the store anyways, demanding satisfaction from whichever unfortunate teenager happens to be standing near the entrance to the store. Don’t phone ahead to find out what the proper protocol is. Just show up, and then if the situation isn’t resolved, make sure you tell everyone how far you drove, and how much your time is worth. People, listen….. Stop treating store employees like they’re the ones that manufactured the product you are unhappy with. They didn’t. Unless you’re lucky enough to see the same person that helped you, they probably didn’t even sell you the item. The retail employee has ZERO control over the longevity and effectiveness of the product that you are using. They have ZERO control over the exchange policy that they are PAID (very little) to enforce. I know you want to yell. I know you want that vain in your forehead to pop out with anger. Everybody from the product designer, to the manufacturer, to the warehouse, to the store level employees probably really wanted you to be happy with this product. They aren’t trying to swindle you, and if they are, it’s certainly not happening at store level. I know you thought that when you spend X amount of money, that the world would open itself up to you in the form of this product, and everything would be the way it should be. That wasn’t the case for you this time. Not the fault of the part-time employee whose lunch break isn’t even long enough to run to the food court and back. Stop the abuse.
- My new favourite shopping dynamic is dealing with the mother/daughter combo in which the daughter is a young adult, and the mother who no longer provides for her daughter is trying to remain relevant by brainwashing her daughter into believing that she is the fountain of wisdom, and nobody else’s opinion could possibly be meaningful. It’s subtle but hilarious. The daughter has no idea it’s happening. The mother is probably doing it instinctively, rather than intentionally. Once you figure out what’s happening, it’s hilarious to watch. The mother talks constantly, like she’s an expert on all things, and trying to influence the daughter’s choices. As the sales person, you are being almost physically shielded from the daughter by the mother, who feels she will lose credibility if an ACTUAL expert chips in with his two cents. So as the salesperson you have no choice but to hang back, and hope that either the daughter asks for your opinion, or the mother asks you where something is. If you get asked for your opinion by the daughter, you are allowed to give it, but it will be met with a frown from the mother, and daughter will then be steered back into the opposite direction. If it results in a sale, it’s a win for everyone. I’ve just never drilled down enough to explain this phenomenon until recently, but the more I see it happening, the more I understand that it stems from a great deal of insecurity from the mother’s part. This isn’t about shopping in my store. It’s bigger than that. It’s fun to be a fly on the wall and watch it. That said, it qualifies as a pet peeve, because the mother is usually rude to me, and chances are I know all the answers to the questions that you won’t give me a chance to address. Sometimes it’s more about the customer service experience, and that one is way more about personal relationships than it is about retail.