December 1, 2013

Appreciation Marketing – Reverse Customer Service



Often we forget that great customer service can result from better actions from customers themselves. I do not advocate that customers must put up with bad service from those from whom they purchase, but many customers have discovered that their actions will bring them exactly the type of service that they deserve.

If you watched videos from various stores during the after Thanksgiving sales, you saw how customers can act. There were scenes of people fighting, pushing, pulling, trampling other shoppers, and basically being rude to each other and the workers in the stores. This is supposed to be a season of giving thanks for the efforts of other people and their contributions to our lives.

The people working in the stores after Thanksgiving were not spending time with their families, time that they will never recover. I realize that they were being compensated for their work, but no amount of money makes up for lost family time or for the abuse that some customers heaped upon them.

The other shoppers were engaged in an adventure of shopping and did not deserve the rudeness and physical abuse that they received. While everyone shopping had made the decision to be there, the workers may have not had a choice if they wanted to stay employed. It does not matter; neither group deserved the resulting abuse, whether it was physical, emotional, or otherwise.

Even in normal times customers need to practice some simple rules of shopping. First, know what you want and have a reasonable idea of the cost involved. Doing some research prior to embarking on your search may enable you to complete your project quicker and more successfully or even complete it at all.

Second, shop at an appropriate store for the item that you want to purchase. Don’t go to a kitchen gadget store looking for lumber. Don’t blame the store for not having what you need if it doesn’t normally stock those items. It doesn’t matter what you believe that they should stock; if they don’t sell it, you cannot buy it there.

Third, if you don’t know what you want, ask for help, understanding that employees may be very busy this time of the year. Instead of wandering around, perhaps in the wrong store or section of the store, ask someone. You may well not need what you think, and you might find a better approach for your project. Don’t assume that your ignorance will make you look stupid.

Fourth, don’t rip open packages, looking for what you think that you need. The buying public has a responsibility to leave a store in the condition which you found it. A package that has been destroyed will probably never sell, resulting in higher costs for all of us. Again, ask for help and allow an employee to help you have a better buying experience.

While I believe that businesses have a responsibility to make the buying experience a pleasant one for all customers, those same customers have an equal responsibility to do their part in the process. Please leave me your comments here, or call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com. If you have never worked retail, you should try it sometime. It will change your shopping habits.

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