If you work or have worked in retail, you’ve probably been waiting for this rant, because it happens all the time. Let me paint a picture for you:
Shopper wanders into your work area. You’re straightening up, putting out stock, or goofing off, but basically minding your own business when they come up to you and ask, “Do you know anything about (blank)?” Your first instinct is to run away, and in this case, it’s dead on. However, you’re committed to customer service or at least to keeping your job, so you ask how you can help. They take you over to a certain product, let’s say vacuum cleaners. They look up at you with big, doe-like eyes and ask, “Which one of these do you recommend?” And, that’s when you realize, you’re totally screwed.
Why? Because you’ve just encountered an impulse shopper. Someone who came in for toilet paper, saw the vacuum cleaners, and decided in an instant they needed one. And, because you happen to be in the area and have the misfortune of wearing a name badge, you’ve become the one source they trust to help them make the right decision. So, what do you say/do? Here are a few suggestions:
-Make something up about one of the brands being better or worse than the other.
-Act genuinely surprised your store sells vacuum cleaners at all, because clearly they weren’t there the last time you worked.
-Pick up two of the products. Tell the customer one is lighter than the other so therefore, it’s better.
-Tell them you’ll find someone who knows more about the vacuum cleaners and then run away.
-Recommend the highest priced product even if it’s actually a piece of crap.
-Tell them you’d rather help them choose something else, because vacuum cleaners are scary.
-Refer them to a vacuum cleaner, specialty store i.e. Best Buy.
-Shake your head, wag your finger, and say, “Someone hasn’t done their homework!”
And, if none of those work,
-Persuade them to pick one, while reminding them of the store’s return policy. Once the impulse wears off, it will be the only piece of information they’ll remember.