I guess I am posing this to Kyle but others can comment. I am going to be very vague on details but if asked I will fill things in as necessary. Not too long ago now my local store got in its first female SA, who happens to be there almost every time I visit the store. At first she was ice cold with me - sometimes she would not even acknowledge me when I came into the store. I went in during the Rediscover sale and her boss said hi to me right away, which kind of got her to "hop to it" - she was like, oh let me help you, she took a measurement, etc. After this point, she was extremely up and down. Sometimes when I visited the store she would be texting on a cellphone in the back, getting up when she saw someone enter the store, and I got the distinct feeling that she expected customers to hand them $385 in cash and practically be in and out in 10 minutes. I remember asking for something to be ordered in and she said she thought it wouldn't fit me anyway so didn't order it until like a week later (with a build time of 4 weeks) until I pressed her - I was frustrated and irritated enough at that point I actually bought them from shoebank. I have since bought 4 pairs from this store - 3 from her boss, who is just way more patient and easy-going all around.
Late last year, I think I interrupted her when she was doing the inventory check so she was definitely in an extra impatient mood. A long time ago (many years now), I was measured incorrectly and sold a pair of loafers that didn't fit. They sat in my closet collecting dust until the manager (at this store) offered to give me a store credit for them, which was extremely generous. I mentioned to her that I would love to try that pair of loafers in a half size larger since I think that was all I would have needed. She sort of went ballistic on me and was like, what are you talking about, we brought those in for you in all different lengths, widths, etc. and none of them worked. Why would you want to go back to that again. I answered as calmly as I could that what she was saying was just plain not true, I had never tried these on again, at any time, since they took back my originals. She said they would take 4 weeks to build at which time I politely said never mind.
So like days after my last purchase at this store, I get a phone call saying my order has arrived. I go to the store to find that she has brought in those same loafers, in a half size larger. I kind of didn't what to make of this - I didn't ask for them and didn't want them at this point (especially in the particular color that came). I tried to act casual - I tried them on and they did fit very well, just as I suspected they would. It was really awkward - we started talking about like personal stuff that I won't get into here, which was fine. Finally I couldn't stop myself and said something like, look, I just bought 4 pairs from this store over a very short period, and to tell you the truth, one of them was something I am going to get very little use out of, but I basically did it out of guilt for you helping me out when I come in. I said that guilt trip thing won't work more than once. She acted like it wasn't a big deal that I didn't buy the loafers she had brought in, but I still felt very weird about the whole thing. Obviously I was the only one in the store this whole time, so when someone showed up I sort of made the dash for the door.
I told this (in detail) to a few of my friends who unanimously say to avoid the store like the plague, but I went back there a few times. We talked some more, and most of the time I feel like she is just trying to kill time until they can close for the night. I have a few things on order for me that won't be ready for many weeks, so I won't be back there any time soon at this point.
What is your opinion on this?
What are my thoughts. Ok. In no particular order:
1.) It's disappointing to hear that you've had that kind of experience.
2.) Theres always 2 sides to every story. It's interesting to hear it from the consumer side(not saying you're wrong at all)
3.) Take your business elsewhere, or just ask for the SM next time you go in. If hes a decent guy to deal with, its not uncommon at all in our store for customers to deal with one sales person almost exclusively. If Mr. Jones comes in on my day off, he'll come back when I'm working, that kind of thing.
4.)Ordering shoes in that aren't in stock can be a balancing act at times. At the end of the day, it costs the company and the store money to order in shoes, but you can't sell something you don't know will fit right, at least not with a clear conscience. I usually will order 1 or 2 shoes if we are trying for size. There are courteous and respectful ways to explain this to the customer. "lets start here, we'll try x and y and see what works". Its rare that I need to order more than 2 shoes we don't have for sizing.
5.) I (we) ultimately work in a service driven industry. At the end of the day, my livelihood depends on me meeting your needs and making sure that the experience of shopping at AE is pleasant and rewarding. If you aren't happy with the service and environment, go somewhere else.
6.)There's a lot of work that goes on the back end that doesn't lead directly to a sale, but it's important regardless. If one can't do those things, be positive and quite frankly happy to customers, maybe its time to explore different employment options.
7.) Customers that come in and just kind of browse around, especially with little to no intent to buy something are always kind of interesting to me. I want the store to be an inviting and comfortable environment, but sometimes its just kind of......awkward? lol. I generally will check on someone, but let them browse and take their time. If you wanna pet shearling, pet shearling. Its the awkward tension between being attentive and not having you feel like I'm just staring at you waiting for you to buy something. But depending on the customer, if i go back to doing orders or working on something else, I become lax and "staring out the window" (actual quote). So do i give you space? hold your hand as we skip around the store? You never know. (I know this doesn't directly relate to your experience, just an observation)
I don't know where you live and quite frankly I don't want to. It shouldn't matter what AE you go to, you should leave feeling good about the product and the experience.
(This is all just my personal opinion) :)
Once you find an SA that you like, use that person for ALL your business. The more volume, the more love you will get in return.