My phone, in my right hand, swings upward occasionally when a vendor isn’t looking to sneak a photo of something interesting. If they’re sitting in a chair staring at me, I’ll ask if I can take a pic while pretending I’m very interested (sometimes, I am!).
When shopping at a flea market, “need” is usually not an overwhelming factor when considering a buy. It’s more of a “ooh I like that” or “hey, I had one of those when I was a kid”.
How much does customer service play a role in a purchase?
For me, a lot! I remember shopping in a mall many years ago in December when I was about twenty years old, wearing worn out jeans and overall looking a bit tattered while hiding a thick wad of bills in my pocket, ready to spend. A makeshift holiday store was offering nifty Lucite paperweights with carvings in them.
The snooty folks working there made me feel smaller than a pea. Though hurting from their attitude, I wanted that paperweight as a gift to a certain someone, so I plunked down my hard earned $40 (just under $150 in buying power today).
Nowadays, I don’t put up with that sort of behavior and I’ll turn around and walk away, no matter how much I want that item.
Recently at the flea market I spied a box filled with Life Magazines from the Sixties. I love old ads; they tell the story of how we lived and what the product, style and color trends were; many of those trends come back! The box clearly said on it in large letters “Mags 50 cents”. I decided to swing back later.
Returning to the magazines I inquired “How much for the box?” The response was “I just sold 3 for 10 dollars.” Then she walked around to them and started counting the magazines. She said “There’s about 32 of them in here.” I said “It says 50 cents” on the box. “That’s wrong” she quickly replied and added “I sold 3 for 10 dollars. That’s just a box.”
I then said “It says mags on it.” She restated “That’s just a box.” Then she said “25 dollars.” I said “22”. She said “25. I sold 3 for 10 dollars.” During this conversation I also injected a prime benefit to her: She wouldn’t have to lug a heavy pile of magazines back home. And then I realized she wasn't going to play fair.
“You know, never mind; that’s okay.” I slowly walked away. She made no attempt to counter my offer.
What happened here?
- Lack of concern for the potential buyer. Her surly attitude indicated that she didn’t care whether or not she was going to make a sale. Excuse me for making her get out of the chair!
- Stubbornness. My offer was fair. Her air of “putting one’s foot down” rubbed off on me and I was annoyed.
- Improper signage. Technically, based on the price on the box, I should have carried those magazines away for $16. She should have honored the price and if it indeed was incorrect, take away the learning of what NOT to do the next time.
Where does customer service fit in for you when making a purchase? We promise to treat you real nice at our website, or on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.