Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Clerk is right again.

Nearly every day, there is a customer that claims they saw a product at our store.

First question: what did it look like and what did it do? It's a big store and easy to get turned around. Product could be anywhere! But sometimes the customer's description is not good enough (an expanding butcher's block, like a pile of limes, a vegetable shaver (but not a peeler) and when you show them what you think they want, it is not the right thing. Then you have to ask them the

Second question: where did you see it? They will lead us to some corner and say "It was right here!!" And we will go through past displays in our minds and list themes and product. If you can't figure it out that way, it is time for the

Third questions: when did you see it? This question is less about finding the product and more about gently beginning to tell them that they are confused and mix-up. "It was here 2 days ago!" they might say and I can say "so was I. And the display hasn't changed since then." It may frustrate them, but it is the truth. The truth is better. Instead of playing the "is it this?" game and never getting results, I can move onto the

Fourth question: did you see it here? I will ask them and you will see them thinking and quite often, they DID see it somewhere else. Mystery solved.

But there are those tough cases that claim they saw some weird product just yesterday, as though yesterday means anything. They get so mad at my uselessness. Why can't I reveal the item that is in their mind!?

The fact is that I am at work full time. I spend all of my quality, waking life looking at the shelves and touching product. When I am not helping customers, I am pacing the aisles and looking at every crevice, reading every box and brochure, and even looking at past, discontinued items in the computer. So if that Thing you want is here, I will know.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I work in commercial television and I get similar requests from viewers: "I saw this commercial for a clothing sale some time in the last week... what's the phone number?"

    And then they get frustrated when I try to get them to be more specific (which company, when exactly did you see it, what day, what programme were you watching?) because, you know, our station runs thousands of commercials in any given week and it could be any of them. It's very strange.