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Expectations of service - Page 2

post #16 of 24
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For anyone going to Louis Boston, I highly recommend "Luke", one of the younger sales consultants.  He has always been friendly and helpful, even when I asked to see things I told him explicitly were out of my price range.  He was even unfailingly polite and friendly and willing to chat about Louis Boston's restructuring of their lines (they will no longer carry Rogan jeans) yesterday, the first day of their semi-annual sale, to entertain my ideas about new lines I thought that Louis should carry (Baltazar belts, Andrew Dibben, and Sartoria Attolini - very diverse, I know) and to show me shoes I told him were way, way out of my price range (I really can't spend $2500 on a pair of shoes, even if they were sewn by the teeth of a master cobbler).  A real class act in a field dominated by pushy, smarmy a**holes.
Is Luke the guy that also has a burgeoning but very interesting website on clothing? If so, he is definitely an asset to the store.
post #17 of 24
His name appears to be LUKE MOUNTAIN. Never met him, but his name sounds like he's a ski instructor from the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
post #18 of 24
LOL, sounds like the name of the blond bad guy from that '80s movie, Better Off Dead, where John Cusack decides he'd rather kill himself than hook up with a cute French chick.
post #19 of 24
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RIDER: My responsibility is to do everything I can on a daily basis to take care of my family. That's the true bottom line. And trust me, I'm not standing behind a counter waiting for someone to click their fingers at me when they are ready to be served. My family deserves more effort than that.
I personally have no problem with that, and by no means was I implying that you shouldn't try to feed your family, but there is a difference between being *available* and being *annoying*, and it's also part of your job to be able to read those signs. Obviously the salesperson norcaltransplant encountered did NOT understand the value of subtlety. As a salesman, I know that EVERY customer needs to be approached differently, and you cannot take for granted the fact that *especially* in a small business, you have to gauge each customer's reaction to your sales techniques and respond appropriately. You cannot afford to piss people off, because you may not get another opportunity. I would hope that you would be able to see that if you approached me (or many people) like this:
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But, if you come into my shop, tell me to leave you alone, proceed to pick up a Gravati shoe (for example) and tell me you want a 10D, I'm not going to get it until I see your foot on the scale, determine if thats the best last for you, and if not, you are going to see what is.
you would quickly lose my sale. Not because you are trying to get me the right thing, but because regardless of what you know to be true or untrue, the customer is always right. Now I'd hope that you would be tactful enough to suggest that perhaps with your extensive knowledge of this particular shoe, you might be able to find a better fit if you measured my foot first. Thats a whole different matter. Just a word of advice from someone who is both a salesman AND a customer; you will NEVER beat big business (or be a successful salesman) by losing customers because their shopping style varies from your selling style. A good salesman doesnt have to sell anything but himself. If the customer trusts you, the rest happens naturally.
post #20 of 24
Tokyo Slim - agree with everything you say, except "the customer is always right". This is a silly concept. This is the mentallity (?) that is ruining retail. This philosophy has allowed retailers (in many cases) to eliminate an educated, professional sales staff and transfer the responsibility of dealing with the public to the marketers. It's much more cost effecient to have a couple of people in the ad department than many people on the sales floor. Advertising budgets have replaced payroll. This, IMO, has allowed quality to go into the can, as 'image' ads now drive many brand names and product shots drive sales. The product quality itself becomes secondary to it's percieved value. When was the last time you saw an ad for a shoe that described the construction, leather source and type, including finish, lining, insole, country of origin, last made on and fitting characteristics of that last, as well as durability expectations in comparison to other shoes. Ads don't do that, salespeople do (or should, I should say). Here is an example from last week. A young man who just moved to town, and did not have all his clothes/shoes here yet, called to say a workmate had suggested he come see me for shoes. He asked if I carried Allen Edmonds (yes) and if I carried the Grayson in a 14 (yes). We set an appointment. When he arrived, earlier than planned, I was working with other appointments and he looked around a bit while waiting. He picked another model from A/E he liked better, and when I was free, he asked "do you have this in a 14?". I say "let's take a look at your foot first, if you don't mind." Turns out, he is a 15B, with a flat arch and low instep. Very few slip-on shoes are going to fit this foot well. Thru conversation, I found out what he wanted to do with the shoes (dress casual around the office), and was able to suggest something better. What was better in this case was an Italian (Spernanzoni) high-vamp, unlined moc in grained calf with a toggle bit in dark brown. The shoes had been in my inventory for awhile, and I have a couple of odd sizes left, marked down to $39.90 from $195.00. That's right, I went from a $285.00 shoe to a $39.90 shoe because it was the right thing to do. This customer had always assumed that Allen Edmonds was one of his only choices, and found it easier to buy the stand-by's. He said he never thought he could get more fashionable shoes in his size - and no one had measured his foot since he was a kid. Now, the easy thing to do would have been to just get him the shoe and size he requested, and move on to my next customer. However, if I did that, I doubt I would have the customer appointments I typically have throughout the day. This is why the customer is not always right. BTW, he was pleased enough with our service, that he bought a Gravati, a Borgioli, and a Moreschi shoe as well on this visit. Then, went over to the suit department and asked for the 42L section. This entire exercise was repeated in suits, as he was 6'3", thin as a rail, and need XL in a 40 (I think) with a fair amount of alterations. He then told us that he had gone to Brooks Brothers the night before, and had been fitted in 3 suits in 42L. Now I ask you, is the "customer always right?" If I accepted that, I would have a customer who is wearing another poor fitting, expensive shoe; and I would be no different than the clerk at the local discount center - or Nordstrom (sorry, could'nt resist).
post #21 of 24
My question is this: What if that same customer had asked you for what you know to be an ill-fitting suit (or shoes, etc), telling you that that is how he likes to wear it, that all his other suits had a similar cut and fit. He just doesn't feel comfortable or for some reason does not like what you have pointed out to him. And what if you had made it clear that you thought he was wrong - or worse yet, refused to sell it to him? He would have left unhappy. AND he would have gone back to Brooks Brothers or Nordstrom or somewhere else, where they put the customer's wishes first. Why? because the customer has the money in his pocket and the capability of finding someone who gives him better customer service. That is why he's right. You cannot dictate what your customers wear, or even like. And if you try, about half will agree with you, and about half will go elsewhere. You may be *correct* in your assesment of a better fit, or a better style, but you will not be *right* because you didn't give him the service he was looking for. You may have an idea about what clothes and/or other items *should* look, fit, or be to you, but that doesn't mean that others neccesarily share your opinion. I don't think "The customer is always right" is a silly concept at all, it's the fundimental aspect of sales. It has been for as long as people have been selling things, and it always will be. That all said, I'm glad that it turned out well for you.
post #22 of 24
Well, in that case I would say "thanks for letting me show you what I feel is a better option, I appreciate it. Let's go with what you feel is better for you then." As long as I have a chance to do my job properly, no problems. It's the idea of letting someone serve themselves and only assisting when asked that I don't completely agree with. And then, due to the fact that there is so much bad information, and in my case with shoes, the fact that a poorly fitting shoe can actually cause physical discomfort and possibly damage the foot. However, if someone decides that I am wrong, no problem - I am greatful for the chance. BTW, good topic, thanks for bringing it up.
post #23 of 24
Luke is indeed a very nice guy. He's not the one with the website - that is John Erickson. Both are highly recommended should you stop into Louis. I'll always remember John from a couple of years ago when I was calling around the coutry to different top-end boutiques, trying to find Mantellassi's and Lattanzi's on sale. Just about everyone I spoke with was rude, and clearly did not want to be bothered with the likes of me. When I called Louis, John answered and he was extremely helpful, even when I made it clear that I only buy on sale. In fact he remembered me a couple years later as the guy who was enquiring about size 13 Lattanzi's on sale..
post #24 of 24
Goodwill is always appreciated and always reciprocated. On my first visit to Wilkes Bashford, I was browsing the designer floor (now sadly diminished - not their niche, I guess) dressed in jeans, not particularly fashionable sneakers, and a jean style jacket (also not particularly stylish and/or expensive.) I was offered a drink immediately, and the salespeople were happy to help me browse, even after I explicitly told them that I was not likely to make a purchase. I didn't make a purchase that day, nor have I been a particularly profitable customer for them since (I think that I've spent about $100-$200, total.) But they continue to treat me very well. And for their troubles, I've referred customers that have done (at least) tens of thousands of dollars of business for them. A good sales staff is trained to treat all customers well. And most customers don't expect that much, even - just simple courtesy and to not feel that the size of their pocketbook is being sized up. Unfortunately, too often salespeople forget even that.
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