The Golden Rule of Shopping

There are a lot of different ways to get a customer to buy something. I’m far from an expert in customer service, but what I’m talking about here is really just common sense. Call me the “common shopper,” if you’d like.

I know I’m not the only one who’s had to deal with that bitchy, miserable sales clerk who can’t wait to not wait on you. Or worse, felt jumped upon by those pushy, over-the-top sellers as soon as you enter the store. When I’m faced with either one of these types of sales associates, I’m tempted to just leave. I don’t want to give them commission… I don’t even want to be near them!

But what about the good guys? Shouldn’t we show them a little love every once in a while?

Today after work, I was in Banana Republic (in Providence Place Mall, RI, in case any BR Managers happen to be reading this) and I had one of the BEST shopping experiences that I’ve had in a while. The discounts, of course, were the icing on the cake. But the real reason I walked out so very pleased? The sales associates who were waiting on me.

The first one brought my clothes to the fitting room while I continued to browse. Sure, everyone does that. But when I was finally ready to try-on, she didn’t hound me. She kept herself busy and offered a word or two of encouragement on a coat that I was doubtful about. She was honest – right from the start. “That’s way too big, let me get you a smaller size.” And what do you know? The smaller size fit just right.

The next associate I met at the cash register. Because I’m a card-holder, I had a couple different coupons with me: 1) 40% off of one full-priced item, and 2) $30 off a purchase of $100 or more each time you shop. I had no idea how I was going to mix and match my items to find the best deal. And I was already hoping that this woman wouldn’t throw a fit when I said I wanted to do more than one purchase (at least two… one for each coupon, right?)

So, what happened? She let me ring up each item individually. The result? I got 40% off of each item that I purchased, including an additional $30 off of both a trench coat and a blazer. The coat alone was originally $198 and I walked out spending just about $200 for everything.

Sure, she may have broken a rule or two (hence, the reason why I’m leaving her nameless). But guess what? She and her pleasant, fitting-room colleague, have guaranteed themselves at least one more loyal customer. Plus, now that I’m sharing my story with all of you, perhaps their friendliness has tempted at least one more happy shopper. It’s all about how you’re treated, right?

I can’t help but think that customer loyalty is all about attracting the right kind of customers. How do you do that? It’s the golden rule of shopping: Treat others the way that you wanted to be treated.

How do you feel about good (or bad) customer service? Share below or @20sTweet!

~E

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