As I was reading some of my personal favorite blogs, I came across this half-sad, half-infuriating article at Hyde and Seek.
Basically, the author not only had great difficulty finding her relatively normal size available on the floor, but the sales staff treated her with contempt when they bothered to recognize she was there at all.
Retail outlets everywhere, let me clue you in on a secret: you sell more clothes if you treat every person who comes in the door with respect. It doesn’t even take that much effort. A smile here, an offer to help someone into a dressing room there, even a bit of commiseration that the item wanted isn’t there in the size needed tells the customer that you want to help her, which makes her more likely to spend money, even if it winds up being on a purse or a pair of earrings instead of a dress or a blazer.
I’ve worked retail. I’ve sold clothes (though most of my retail career was in books). I’ve had to tell someone ‘I’m sorry, but we don’t have that in stock in your size.’ Or that I didn’t have the color she wanted…or that we didn’t carry the style she was looking for. I’ve seen people walk in with chips on their shoulders looking for a reason to blame me for everything wrong in their worlds. I’ve dealt with the people whose expectations are completely unreasonable. I know how hard working with the great unwashed America public can be.
I also know that better than ninety per cent of those people will lose the attitude if they are treated with respect. I know that it’s possible to ruin someone’s day with a sucky attitude. And I know how much difference in sales a couple smiles and a genuine attempt to be helpful can make.
How about the rest of you? What’s your worst story of retail hell (from either side of the counter)? Who’s the salesperson you’ll never forget because (s)he was so helpful? What stores have you found particularly good or bad in customer service to Big Girls?