Thursday, March 12, 2009

How Not to Provide Customer Service

Tuesday morning, I headed to South Coast Plaza, a local mall. They hate it when you call it a mall, but it's a mall. Not the plaza, etc. Apparently to be considered a mall, it has to have a food court, whatever.

I was going there to purchase some baskets at Pottery Barn Kids. My son's dresser has a spot under it for baskets. I was excited to organize some of his crap toys. I'm tired of tripping over Hot Wheels. I arrived at So. Coast about 10am when everything was just opening. I headed into American Eagle Outfitters because Pottery Barn Kids hadn't quite opened yet. As I entered the store I was bombarded by employees. Within five minutes, I got these speech from four different people, "Our special today is you buy one t-shirt and you get the second one for $10". Ok, thanks. I was the only one in the store. Obviously the employees could see who greeted me. I've worked retail, I know how it works. As soon as a customer walks in, you greet them. You don't stalk them, follow them around, or harass them. It makes a customer want to run out of the store. And that is what I did. I saw some things I liked, but hells to the no was I going to purchase something from them. I now know why most of my friends shop online. My sizing is so inconsistent so I hesitate from shopping online.

Today, I was at the Irvine Spectrum. I had just left my awesome 24Lift class at 24 Hour Fitness. I stopped in a new store there called "Buckle". I've heard some of my online forum peeps talk about it, so I thought I would check it out. I've been looking for some capris and they had some great styles. I'm trying to avoid that mom-jeans look. There were two sales people working at the time. They offered their assistance. They asked if there was a particular style I was looking for, and that was it. I told them that I had an extremely short inseam and that I had issues with capris looking like high water pants. They were able to assist me with the perfect fit. I tried on two different styles. I thought that the second pair made me look a little wider. They agreed that the first pair was much better. I literally fell over and applauded them for not harassing me. They were laughing.

My point is, I know times are tough. The economy sucks. People are being more conservative with their money. Consumers are shopping less. But if you harass and stalk your customers, they are not going to make purchases.

Oh and I got the baskets at Pottery Barn Kids. They work perfectly for all the junk that Angry Toddler has acquired.


  1. You can so feel the tension of people wanting to sell, sell, sell!

  2. I have lived the retail world, too. Worked in Pier 1 stores for years in every position on the food chain. They were always good about not applying pressure, but Lord knows some stores are desperate right now. We always had goals.....but never consequences to not attaining them. Glad you found a good solution!

  3. PS - my husband loves Brooks Brothers more than anything and wears their cologne only. I'm constantly shocked at how downright RUDE they are to me when I enter! I guess my double stroller reads "not going to buy much" and they don't bother.

  4. Julie I want my 4 minutes back...


  5. I love Buckle. I get all my pants and tops from them. They must train their employees to actually act like a friend and tell you the truth. If you look bad, they will try to fix it. Only shopped online with them once, but no probs

  6. Our American Eagle is friendly, but not pushy. Of course, sometimes, they are too busy chatting among themselves to do more than greet you.
    I was appalled the other day at Aeropostle: The store was packed, one register, of course, a guy takes a register and is checking out a girl. I was thinking, finally another checker. Several people joined me in that line. He gets done checking her out, I walk up to the counter, and he says, "Oh, I was just doing an employee purchase. Let me see if I can find someone." And walks off! I turn around to the people in line and we are all T'd off and about to pile our stuff on the counter and walk off. A young man takes the register and is so kind and apologetic, so we went ahead and stayed.
    Can you believe it? The manager. I plan to file a complaint!

  7. Well you hit SCP and Irvine Spectrum in one week? Lucky.
    I don't like being stalked at stores either. So annoying. But I hate being ignored too. It's a balance I guess.
    Will have to check out Buckle on Friday!

  8. I feel the same, I hate being stalked. I will ask you if I have a question, got it? Now beat it, chickie. My college roommate worked at a place called Lingerie for Less (yes, we had a ton of fancy underwear, ha ha) and every time she hit her sales quota they raised it! Oh how she hated hounding people to try on bras and bustiers.


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