Posts Tagged ‘want’

What Are You Going To Do About It?

October 31, 2011

There is a mother-son duo who often come in to shop. The son never wants help, and acts as brusquely as possible. Read this as destroying piles of clothes, ignoring any greetings, and leaving piles of clothes when he’s done trying on. Oh, and he also speaks to you like you’re worth about as much as dog feces. Yes, one of those people. His mother is some shy, quiet, awkward thing which sort of shadows him as he walks around being some dominant male. Oddly enough, from his stature and his face, you can tell he really isn’t dominant anything. If he weren’t so rude, I might actually feel pity for him because of short comings, yet the fact he comes into my workplace and acts like a beast is sad and irritating.

Either way, I’m in the fitting room helping customers, and he comes out of no where, demanding, “I need you to get something for me.” No, not, “Are you busy,” or “Can you help me, please?” He just glares at me, demanding help, because everyone else is cashiering. I decide to humor him, and ask what he needs. “I put clothes on hold, I want you to get them.” Alright, so he tells me his name, and I look in the holding area. There is nothing. I look twice, but there is definitely nothing. He’s standing nearby with his arms crossed, watching my every move, nearly glaring at me. I tell him I can’t find the clothes, it’s not there.

“What are you going to do about it?” He yells at me, and purses his lips, as if I’m supposed to suddenly grovel at his feet, beg for his forgiveness for my mistake–or my coworkers, or his mistake, and do what? Magically wave my hands in the air and make the clothes appear? I was tempted to do just that, and say, “Poof! Darn, it usually works, too! Sorry.”

Since I’ve worked out how to streamline my thoughts, we glare at each other for a few seconds. While my mind races, “Who do you think you are? I’m going to laugh, because they probably knew how much of a jerk you were when you called and decided not to even put your clothes on hold. Maybe they lost it on purpose, too. Or maybe you called several days ago and the clothes was duly put out as we are supposed to do. Of course, if someone puts it on hold here, most coworkers never put it out, so it must have been put on hold a long, long time ago.”

“Nothing,” I finally reply, and give him a blank, emotionless gaze, waiting for his reply. Instead, he acts like a little girl and gives some sort of deep sigh, moan, and groan, and throws his fists down, stomping out of the store as his mother follows closely behind. Oh that poor old lady, I’m quite sure he’s going to take it out on her after they leave, and she’ll probably have to buy him some ice cream, with a cherry on top. You know, sometimes, manners actually get you somewhere. There is actual truth in “The Right to Refuse Service”, but there are a lot of coworkers who would gladly slave and be treated like dirt, but in this case, I didn’t want to put anyone in such a position.

Customer Types: Big Baby, Micromanagement

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Retail: The Point

September 19, 2011

The Point is when customers come in, we don’t expect them to buy, we don’t force them–we hope they desire or want what we have to offer. That is our relationship. Somewhere along the line, stores started to add ‘benefits’ to attract the customer. Great customer-service is one thing, slavery is another, but when you add in things like commission, then you begin to enforce this erred system. If people know you are benefiting from their purchase, they know you are worth ‘money’ to them. They know you must cater to them, please them, and find them just what they want to purchase, so you make money off of this. Even in situations where there is no commission, but customers perceive you to be working off commission they treat you differently. They get offended when you’re too friendly, because they think it’s fake. They don’t want to feel like you’re forcing yourself to help them, and they often take genuine help as a sort of contrary–you can’t actually be helping them because you want to, can you? This is how far the simplicity of The Point has gone.

We no longer live in the purity of a system where we provide something you desire, and thus you purchase. We live in a system of competition, most often aganst other companies, but always against ourselves. With modern-technology, we question how many people have visited our stores day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year. We scrutinize numbers, believing them to have the answers, like a Holy Grail. If in the age of mystery, legend, and magic, we could not find the often symbolic, mythical Holy Grail, we will definitely not find it in number crunching. Sure, we can contemplate how to get more customers into our stores. We can consider how to get more people to buy things, but in this process have we lost the Point? In all truth, have we lost the true Holy Grail, which was a simplicity of terms and ideals. It was not mystery and complexity, it was truth hidden before our very eyes. The magic is the fact its not hidden at all, its hidden in plain view.

The technological-age has given us and companies the idea that privacy no longer matters, that customers aren’t just customers while they are in the store, but anywhere and everywhere. We can argue our customers are wearing our clothes, and thus carrying our store with them–as conceited as that may sound. We can argue customers are thinking about our store, and having an online brand is essential to fulfill their needs at any time of the week, day or night. Are they our customers while they browse our websites? Maybe. Are they just our customers the moment they press the buy button? Surely.

The moment we ask customers to fill-out a survey, giving them our name, we lose the Point. If a customer deems our service so commendable to actually fill-out a survey, that should be entirely under their purview. In all honestly, our society and the people whom live within it have only learned to use surveys and reviews for personal uses, often as their own complain box. The impetus for a customer to write something positive is far smaller than it is to write a complain. If we could scale it, I’d say positives are worth pennies to customers, and complaints are worth dollars. They believe in the power of complaint and the smallest irritation is more reason to complain than great customer-service. Ask yourself, to you remember more the salesperson who finds everything you want, and gives you great customer-service or the one who doesn’t do it? Do you remember it because you expect this level of service, that you feel it should always be met and reached? And in all honestly, how often do you even receive this level of service anywhere you go? Yet, it persists in your mind. Yet, you still believe in this level of superior service, and don’t acknowledge the fact it happens far less than it should. Some people say we believe in luck as long as it happens at least once, even if it is one in every thousand. Do we believe in great customers service being the norm, too?

The moment we ask customers to sign-up for a credit card, we lose the Point. I can say any time a store asks me for a credit card, I can just reply with, “Do you have a credit card with this company?” Odds are, they will say no. Odds are, they’re trying to sell something they only ‘know’ about by reading and training. These people aren’t selling something they understand or use. This isn’t like clothing, where you can wear, relate, and communicate to customers to sell in something you believe in. On the rare occasion someone offers me a credit card and has on, we can have a real discussion. Otherwise, this is yet another conundrum retail has created for itself.

The moment we ask customers for an e-mail address, we lose the Point. Sure this is a new age, and a new step forward. We can now send receipts to customer e-mail addresses. Now they can never claim it has been lost–unless it’s a gift, which they’ll solve or have already solved. In the long-run, this will save more trees and create less trash in a world direly in need of eco-friendly methods and ideals. Yet, customers also know this is a step into the ‘privacy’ of their lives–will the receive unwanted e-mails now? Will your store intrude into their personal lives? Sure, you think they’ll think about your store more. Maybe you’ll get more customers to come in. Yet, do you have to ask them to give their e-mail to you? There are many ways to get e-mail addresses from customers, it is how and when you do so which makes a huge difference.

We do not ask for anything from customers, we never should. Our relationship is clear as water. We provide merchandise, we help them find what they want, we help them desire it, and we help them purchase it. The intimacy of that relationship ends then and there. Yes, customers become living advertisements for our clothes. Yes, they can use word of mouth. Yes, they are the power, the electricity that powers and keeps stores alive. Yet, they do so at their own feeling. They tell people because they want to. They’ll wear that perfect outfit when they feel like it. Do you not see, some companies will think of ways to force customers to share their ‘love’ with their friends, they’ll find ways to make customers wear their clothes. This is the greed, the want and the desire of the company, without putting into consideration the customer. This is where the clear water becomes muddied, thick, and filled with grease.

Those who truly understand the Point, these people carry the Holy Grail. This is the Galahad you want by your side. You want someone who understand to just help the customer find what they want. This salesperson will make the customer love what they want, because they love it, not because they have to. Not because they receive e-mails about discounts, not because their credit score is now under your influence, not because you give them the power to complain about your flaws. No, your Galahad will fulfill the needs of the customer and that is all you need. You don’t need to force-feed people to make them happy. Imagine a company whose entire wealth of popularity and fame is based on it’s customer-service–not slavery–but service. They don’t ask anything more form the customer than to see what they have, and to hopefully fall in love with it, and leave with bags of love. This is the company which will not fail. This is the company which shall survive. This is the company which desires to be reborn.

What Size is that Mannequin Wearing?

September 10, 2010

A woman approaches me, because she wants a small-sized, purple shirt off a mannequin. I ask if she wants to look at the other colors, because we have several great colors to pick from.
“No, I don’t want another color. I want this color.”
I shrug, since she doesn’t want to even look at the other colors. I figure she really likes the purple color. So I strip the mannequin, putting the arms aside. I find the closest shirt right next to the woman, in small-size, and I place it on the mannequin. Mind you, it’s right next to her hanging. As I’m putting the arms on, the woman stops me.
“Wait, sorry, what size is that one?”
“Small.”
“I want that one, too.” She laughs. I chuckle a little with her, saying okay. I pull the arms off again, and hand her the shirt. She stands there watching me. So I get another shirt, small-sized, and I start to put it on.
“Excuse me, again, what size is that one?”
“It is small,” I sigh.
“Oh, can I have that one, too? Sorry, I’m being such a bother.” She laughs, and I just remind her there are several colors of these shirts right next to her. She just stands there watching me, and doesn’t move.
“Okay,” I whisper under my breath. So I get another shirt, I put it on, and guess what? Yes, she wants it. This time, I decide to just get a totally different shirt. Thankfully, she’s not interested in this shirt, and takes her collection away, as I finally slip the arms of the mannequin back into place.

Customer Type: The Blind, Micromanagement

Policy, Say What?

July 21, 2010

I returned from a restless vacation, only for my first incident to be on the telephone…

“Hello, thank you for calling,” I say as kindly as usual–to which I’ve received compliments from people on how polite I am.
“Um, hello? Hi. Well, I have a question. I don’t know. You see, here, I bought a jacket for my daughter but it’s too small. And well, I have to see, I want to know, can I exchange it or something?”
I’m already thinking, looking around, “Oh no, I don’t want this phone call!” I calmly reply, “Of course, do you have the tag the item came with? We can check its availability.”
“Oh sure. I have it here.” Following the sound of ruffling and crunching, “Yes, here, I have it. What number do you want?”
I explain to her where the number is and she finds it. She rattles off the number like a phone number, you know, the ones where they blur it all together, so all you hear is, “Fourseveneighteightnine… Six, two.”
Closing my eyes tightly, I take a breath and ask her to repeat it, because I didn’t get the entire number. Of course, you know, she repeats it at the speed of snail. “Four… Seven…” I suddenly feel like I’m the dumb one in the conversation, which obviously she already believed to start with.
“Oh, this item is only available online currently, or in another state.”
“What does that mean? I can’t come in and pick it up from you?”
As she asks the inevitable question, and much of our conversation becomes stagnant and preemptive, I search for the price of the item, and it’s a super-cheap sale item. No wonder it’s not available anymore–we haven’t carried it in over a month.
“You can come in and exchange the item for something else.”
“No,” she raises her voice, “I want that jacket in a larger size! Where can I get it?”
“It is available online,” but I note there is less than two-dozen left, so she would need to act fast if she wants that specific size.
“So, I have to go online, and pay shipping fees to get this item?”
“Yes. If you do want that specific item.”
“No, are you saying I HAVE TO go and buy it online to get it?”
“It is only available online or in another state.”
“No, you aren’t answering my question!”
“Excuse me?”
She sighs loudly, yelling at me, “Can I speak to someone else! You don’t understand what I’m asking! I need a manager or something…”
My face turns red, and her exceedingly low-intelligence has just busted my last nerve. I tell her I am a manager, and ask her specifically what she’s asking, because she said she wants an item that isn’t available our store.
“I am asking if this is the policy!”
“The policy is that you can come into the store to return the item…”
“No! You aren’t answering my question! Is it the POLICY that I have to go online and order the item, if you don’t have it in the store?”
My eyes roll into my head. Who is this woman? Where is her mother? Because her mother needs something. It’s called a slap in the face.
“No, that is not the policy. Because we do not have the item, and you want the item, in order to buy the item you need to order it. There is no policy for that. If we don’t have the item, our policy is we can let you exchange the item for something else.”
“So how am I supposed to get the item!”
“You buy it online.”
“Oh. How much does that cost?”
For some reason, at this point she stops yelling at me and starts talking to me like a human being once again. I don’t understand at what point she suddenly became sane again. So we work through the process and eventually reach an understanding. She hangs up happily, and proceeds to call online to order the item. End of story.
Actually, no it isn’t. This woman reminded me so much of another encounter several months ago:
Angry Panties

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Deaf, Don’t Kill the Messanger, The Dumb, The Riddler

Find it, Find it!

July 10, 2010

I’m walking around, minding my own business; I’m also working, which means my business is dealing with customers.
“Excuse me,” a woman comes up behind me.
I greet her, and she says she’s interested in this shirt she saw. I walk with her to find the shirt, which is now on sale. She’s excited, asking me to please find it, because she wants it very badly. I search through our sale wall, but I find nothing. Nothing is in her size, and the mannequin is wearing a shirt too large. She asks me to check in the back, because she wants it really badly. If I need to, she also wants me to call other stores, just in case. She has to have it!
I search in the back, and there it is, hiding. I bring it back to her, triumphant. She cheers and claps. She’s so happy to have the shirt. She looks at it, finally holding the shirt we’ve been looking for. She looks at the price-tag and looks at me. How much is it?

I go to the register and scan the price. It’s about $30, and I tell her this.
She looks at me, looks at the shirt, then pushes it at me.
“Nevermind, I don’t want it.” Then, she leaves.

If I were a knight errand slaying a dragon for my princess, only to be rejected after I succeed in this titanic endeavor, I think I’d go princess slaying instead.

Customer Types: Capitalist, Micromanagement

I don’t want this anymore

January 29, 2010

This will possibly be one of my shortest stories of all, and then I’ll make it unnecessarily long. So we have a complex sale going on, which makes us take forever getting through transactions, especially when someone buys a lot of special items. Well, we had all our registers running, and trying to process people as fast as possible, and I tell the next person, “Hello, I can help you here!”

The customer comes up, and dumps a pair of super-sale items on the counter, scowling at me, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore.” And then she turns and leaves.

Oh. My… I’m devastated. I’m crushed! My world, my world is over! How could you do this to me? I can’t believe you’d hurt me so badly! *Rolls eyes*

Seriously, if you wanted to make a statement about the fact we were working as fast as we could, and that we’re losing out on your very important five-dollars, perhaps you could have asked for a manager? Even better, you could have grabbed at least some full-priced merchandise which cost a couple-hundred dollars, and then said, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore.”

Seriously? Even my mother will put a can of tomato sauce on the gum and candy shelf, leaving a grocery store instead of going to a cashier and saying, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore. Here is your can of $1.00 tomato sauce back!” Because you know, they’d do all they could to stifle their laughter and try to remain professional, saying, “I’m so sorry, please, please come back. Please buy this can of tomato sauce, because it really matters! Your purchase makes a difference! Please, I have children to feed!”

Seriously, get a life. You should have left after your first sigh, and saved yourself all those precious minutes waiting in line, to go outside and waste your life in other ways. Or, if you were smart, after waiting so long for your awesome deal, you could have… *gasp* bought the item! So at least you didn’t waste your time, genius. Wow, what a revelation! Seriously.

Customer types: Capitalist, The Dumb