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.