Payday, time to spend some money! Where should I go?
There’s a Wal-Mart across the street from work is a good place to start. Never been a huge fan of Wal-Mart, however the location and availability of stuff is convenient. So here I go…
Walk through the front door, there’s the greeter. I’m excited! I have money and I got some stuff I want to buy! This person is here to welcome me to their place of business and let me know I’m welcome there. I may even have a question on where to spend my hard-earned dollar first and they could point me in the right direction. I grab my cart, start walking past the greater and….. nothing. Not only did I not get the “Hello and welcome to Wal-Mart” I didn’t even get a head nod. This person is a paid professional “greater”. They failed! In fact, I cannot remember one time where I walked into one of these “big box” stores and was greeted.
Ok, maybe these “greeters” were having a bad day. Each and every time I’ve walked in, they’ve all just had a bad day. Maybe I should cut them some slack and get on to the shopping. You are here to spend that money right? On to the first department. Time to stack up on some grub. I don’t need help finding food. Most do the aisle to isle browsing and select what you want. There may be a time when you are looking for something in particular. Is there ever an employee available to help you out? Yes, but no. I’ve seen them stocking shelves, pricing items or cleaning. Not once has one of them asked “anything we can help you find today?”
On to the real shopping. It’s been a while since I’ve had a hockey game for my PS3. I wanted the new NHL 14 and have the money to buy it. It’s time to move to the other side of the store. Electronics, here I come! During my journey to the land of TV’s, video games and other gadgets I find myself looking for other things I may not need. I’ve passed plenty of employees and yet have had no contact. I wonder if I’m even wanted in this store?
My first contact is in TV land. I was walking around the isle corner when another employee bumped into me. (Here we go, he’s gotta say something to me now.) “Oh, my bad bro.” The employee had been practicing his basketball moves with a small ball he had found. The other employee “I told you to look out dude.” Wow, I’m really in the way here. I must have stumbled into a private work related exercise. My bad! How dare I, just a mere customer, interrupt the daily activities of the staff. I will just take my cart and get out of there. I take my goods and head to the cash register. (3 out of a million lanes open.) Wait in line and cash out. The whole time wondering if I would be out of there faster if it wasn’t for the discussion between the two cashiers.
I stopped at the Game Stop next door to check if they have the item of my current desire. “Hello, welcome to Game Stop, can we help you?” (You probably already know what I said.) “No thanks, just looking.” It’s programmed into us. I know what I want. I was there for one thing. I still wanted to look around and see if I could find it on my own. I didn’t. I did find that I knew there was someone there who wanted to help me. I asked if he had the NHL game in stock. He checked, and no was the answer. He offered to order it for me and also told me about other store in the area that had it in stock. (Even told me when they would close that night.) WOW! This guy wanted me to spend my money there. He was interested in my business. First by saying hello next by going the next step in finding what I wanted.
I have money, I know what I want and no time to make it to the other Game Stop that night, off to Meijer I go. Again, no greeting from a greater. Passing multiple employees to the “entertainment” section with no acknowledgement. As I walk in to the section I see two employees, both next to the video game selection. I walk right next to them, looking into the PS3 section. I’m not even there! They both carry on talking about whatever BS was on topic that night. (Something about if you’re on break, do I need to stay in this section?) So, I find what I’m looking for. (Last years game on display, this years hidden in the lower case?!?!) By this time both are back behind the counter. I ask them to grab the game for me. They do jump right on it (since they had nothing work related to do). When I go to cash out here are the first words directed at me. “You gonna play that?” Really, I’m buying a game and you are asking if I’m going to play it? “Yeah, I plan on it.” “I’m the man on that game” blah blah blah.
Ok, Meijer’s, Wal-Mart and other “Big Box stores, here’s the deal!
You need to let your employees know that without me they are nothing. I am the customer! When I buy stuff it pays them! It’s that simple. It’s clear most of these people don’t act like they care about their job. It’s either because you have not taught them about customers and what they do for the company OR you have hired the wrong people. If they don’t get it, there are plenty of people out there looking for jobs that may. If they do get it, you haven’t done you job to train them properly. As a former “big box” employee I know there is very little training about customers. I’ve jested many of times that give me control of one of these stores and I could at least double the income just by training the employees to take care of their customers. Every thing else is secondary.
I may be wrong, these “big box” stores have realized that most will flock to their stores and buy stuff without any “sales” involved. I say let’s thank those that help us out in the name of customer service. To the business out there, if you want us as customers, show us! You hire greeters, make sure they greet! Teach those working in the departments to welcome guests and be available to help them out. We will all say “just looking” however you know as well as I, that doesn’t matter! You don’t have to hound us, just be welcoming and available! Who knows we may actually WANT to come to your store and not just out of convenience.