Have A Nice Day
Recently, looking for a gift, I settled for a breakable item from a gift ware store in a shopping mall. On leaving the shop and making my way out of the mall I slipped at the top of the escalator and broke the bowl I purchased.
Not that the gift was over-expensive, about $50, but it took me quite some time to make the selection and the thought of having to look around and find something else was not very appealing. So, I returned to the shop and asked the assistant for a replacement of the identical article I broke.
"But you just purchased the same one," she said. So, I told her what happened. "One moment," she replied after listening attentively to my hard-luck story.
A couple of minutes later she returned.
"The manager of the store hopes you didn't hurt yourself and would like to replace the bowl at no charge," she warmly said to me.
Imagine my feelings. One minute, down in the dumps, the next riding sky high.
What a fine gesture, but even what a finer act of goodwill and customer service. The manager of that store knew I would tell everybody I knew about the incident and the positive response from this quick-thinking and shrewd manager. A gesture worth many hundreds of advertising dollars spent.
Sometimes, it takes a great deal of understanding by shopkeepers and sales assistants to sum up the needs of a customer. Selling is more than simply producing an item, wrapping it up and taking the money. Sales staff should be encouraged to talk to customers and understand what they are really looking for, but perhaps can't find without assistance.
In my case, the hard-luck story turned into a pot of gold for that store. But in so many other instances, just a friendly exchange sometimes breaks down the barrier of resistance.
And customers like to tell others about shopping experiences; the good, the bad and the ugly.
So next time a sales assistant takes your money and completes the sale with that well-worn cliche "have a nice day" ask yourself a simple question.
Was that a programed comment, or was it a genuine expression of care and understanding?
Lloyd Masel spent 40 years in shopkeeping specializing in customer relations, staff training, marketing and advertising. Contact him on email@example.com
Related Tags: care, service, understanding
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