Sunday, March 21, 2010

Show Respect in Front of Customers

What went wrong in this situation?
     A customer bursts into the store, rushes toward a salesperson, and starts complaining loudly about defects in a product she’d purchased. The salesperson calmly replies, “What would you like me to do to make things right for you?”
     In response, the customer roars, “Look, I’m upset. You don’t sound like you’re taking me seriously. I want to talk to a manager.” The salesperson says, “I’ll get you a manager. Please wait just a minute.” The salesperson radios for a manager, saying, “I’ve a customer who is very dissatisfied and would like to talk to a manager.”
     As soon as the manager arrives, he immediately says to the customer, “What would you like me to do to make things right for you?” For a moment, there is silence. Then both the salesperson and the manager notice the customer’s nostrils flaring as she says, “You people keep repeating yourselves. Your salesperson here didn’t even ask me what my problem is.”
     At that, the manager turns, with a combination of irritation and frustration, away from the customer and toward the salesperson to say, “Our customers are our most important asset. How could you not ask the customer what the problem was? This customer deserves better than that. This is not the first time you’ve done something like this.”
     According to findings by researchers at University of Southern California, about 40% of retail consumers report that at least once each month, they see a store employee treat another store employee so rudely that the customer gets less interested in shopping at that store.
     Here, the manager wanted to show the customer she was being respected. But this message was severely undercut by the failure of the manager to show respect to the salesperson in front of the customer.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

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