What Would You Do?

Alright.  Maybe my request for comments was too general.  So here’s another approach. 

Chain store competition is a problem for just about everyone in the retail business.  Or, maybe I should say it’s an opportunity.  Here’s a question for you:

Suppose someone you know, a customer, a friend, or a relative, comes into your store dragging the widget they bought from one of the Marts or Depots, a widget very similar to the ones you sell, except that it’s very poorly made.  It’s broken.  It doesn’t work.  They want your help.  What would you do?

Let’s start a conversation.  Click on "comments" below and tell your fellow retailers what you think.  We’ll be waiting.

4 Responses

  1. If I know and care about them as a person and as a friend or acquaintance, I owe it to them to suggest a better solution, and how I can help. What kind of friend am I if I just let them go on, enabling them to make the same error of judgment over and over again? If I at least tell the story, I fulfill my commitment to them. What they then do with it is up to them.

  2. What is really hard for me is when someone comes into the store and claims to be a long time customer(I’ve been in business almost 30 years)and is so happy I’m there and wonders how us small stores stay in business and then they ask for bags for a cleaner that I don’t carry.I’m never quite sure to point out the fact that they did not buy the machine from me and that selling bags alone will not keep me in business or just smile sell them the bags and let it go. How do others handle this

  3. I think the key here is to turn it into a money-making situation. I treat the customer just as well as I would if they had bought the machine from me, maybe better.

    I offer to do a repair, or if the item is really cheap, I offer to take it in on trade. For example, if they paid $199.00, I try to get them into something for at least $398.00. If they’re agreeable, I give them something like $175 for the trade-in.

    I don’t make anything on the sale, but I didn’t make anything on the original sale either. The difference is that now I have a customer who will come back to me the next time and will tell her friends.

  4. Great comments! I’m surprised that no one has suggested physically throwing the person out of the store or suggesting that they do something unnatural with their big box widget. Of course, that’s a terrible idea, but I’m sure it’s crossed a few minds.

    Keep the conversation going.

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