Sloppy sales fail – the customer should always come first

Sloppy sales fail – the customer should always come first

The customer should always come first

Our latest Sloppy Sales Fail – from our regular blog post highlighting the not so great practice from retailers we visit, comes from a well known high-street electrical retailer.

As ever, no names are given – our intentions are to look at key learnings, not name names!

We hope you enjoy reading this week’s blog post and gain some insight into best practice.

What happened?

Incorrect information, overpriced postage and shouting across the shop floor are never going to win you customers, as this week’s ‘Sloppy Sales Fail’ discovered.

When you make a visit to a retailer for a piece of electrical equipment, it’s quite likely that you will need some help and guidance as most of us are not electrical experts.

When I visited a high street electrical store recently for a new piece of equipment for my music system, I was greeted by a very helpful salesperson, who quickly located the item I needed and advised it would be sent directly from the distribution centre, which would take around 2-3 days. Great – a 10 out of 10.

However, when I got to the cash desk to pay, I was told the item was out of stock, so instead they would get the item from another store. Again, great, the problem was solved quickly and efficiently and I was given an alternative – or so I thought.

Just before I was about to pay for the item, the sales person decided to unexpectedly bellow across the shop floor to his manager, to confirm that this was in fact, all OK – this in itself very bad practice.

Not moving from his own position the manager shouted back that I was to be charged an additional £10 for postage from the other store…

Why on earth would a customer need to pay £10 to have an item sent from another store?

This was a very just question in my opinion – and one that I quickly put to the manager.

The stores response? Head office rules. That was it. They are head office rules, so if you don’t like it then take your business elsewhere. And I did.

What can other retailers learn from this?

As a retailer, in a very tough economy, a simple task like getting something for a customer from another store, should be made as simple and easy as possible.

Customers are at the heart of a retail business. If a customer is willing to pay for an item from you that you don’t have, the onus of getting that product to your store for that customer should be on you.

A customer should never be made to feel like they are a nuisance or indeed that they are being taken advantage of with extortionate postage rates.

By doing this you don’t just lose a sale, but most likely a customer for life and potentially others as they tell their story to their friends, family and work colleagues.

Always put your customer first and never take advantage of them.

Let us know what you think and join in the discussion @Beyondtheboxuk #SloppySalesFail