I posted earlier a situation where a shop assistant recommended a couple to visit another store, assuming that they couldn’t afford the men’s clothing that the posh store carried. There is no polite way to suggest this, no matter how gentle the tone of voice is. To a customer, the idea of being told that you cannot afford what’s in store is insulting enough.
I wonder – is this the experience that this posh boutique wants every visitor to have?
Not only the sales person failed to provide a pleasant experience to the couple, who actually can afford the merchandise, he failed to convert those visitors to customers. Let’s not even begin to picture the number of people who will hear about that experience, all right?
A posh boutique may want to present a picture that it’s high-class or the choice of the more discerning ones. The trick is how to build the behavior that is positively regarded by everyone – from the no-limit-credit card-toting folk to the hoi-polloi. Why does creating the right habit matter? It matters because people are at the core of any business. No matter what’s the business model or environment, we still need to serve customers who are, mostly (duh!), people.
Too bad that particular posh boutique in one of the tallest buildings in Asia here did not grasp the importance of creating a great experience at every customer and potential customer contact.
I’ll leave you with this snippet. I’m not sure how many of you would remember this scene from 1990’s Pretty Woman that starred Richard Gere & Julia Roberts –
Shop assistant: Hello, can I help you?
Vivian: I was in here yesterday. You wouldn’t wait on me.
Shop assistant: Oh.
Vivian: You people work on commission, right?
Shop assistant: Yeah.
Vivian: (Holding up her shopping bags for the shop assistant to see) Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.
She turns away and walks out of the shop, leaving shop assistants standing, mouths open.
One of the best scenes ever written, in my opinion.