Can I Help You?

This sounds simple enough, but it is annoying how many times it is missing in retail establishments.  It should not be harassment or a clerk following you around the store, but a clerk should be able to recognize when a customer is having difficulty finding something and offer assistance.

I was in one store and could not find what I was after.  I was the only person in the store and in full view of three clerk having a good conversation.  I went to the till to ask for some assistance and the three ignored me and continued their conversation, which was not work related.  I left without a purchase and have not gone back.

Yesterday I was in a liquor outlet to look for a different craft beer to give a friend as a gift.  Again, I was the only customer and there was a clerk behind the till at the front of the store.  After about 10 minutes of looking at their beer selection, I could not see what I was after so was about to leave.  As I went by the till I said I was looking for a different craft beer.  His response was, “Oh, they’re on the other side of the store.”

I thanked him and did find a product that was different and took it to the till.  There was not even a hint of customer engagement with this clerk.  No smile, no ‘have a nice day’, or ‘can I help you find something’, he looked like he would sooner be anywhere except behind the till.

Now it is easy to blame the clerk, but the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the manager or owner.  They have either failed in their hiring or in their training, or both.  In both of the businesses I mentioned, they rely on repeat business.  In order to encourage repeat business you have to engage with your customers, know their wants and needs.  You have to at least appear friendly!  If not, unless you have a very unique product, they will be going to your competitor.

Take care of the customer, and they will take care of you.

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

This entry was posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Communication, Customers, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Empowering people, Sales, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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