Wouldn’t it be nice if your personal shopper called you at home to tell you about a sale that is going on at one of your favorite clothing stores? Apparently that is what a national chain of women’s clothing stores thought. There is a basis of goodness in there, but unfortunately they have missed the mark.
Many an unsuspecting woman picks up the phone to hear the sales message and is then annoyed about the call. Why would this be? Why would she not be happy about hearing about a sales opportunity?
First of all, it is not her personal shopper that calls, but some unknown ‘fashion consultant’ (sales gal) who she never met before.
Second, what are they offering her?
A day where there is 25% off. This store has 25% off coupons all of the time. Why should she rush in?
A special evening event to save money? Do women really like to go out at night to shop? Do they want to be at a crowded event? Do they want to be just one of many and actually not that special?
Maybe a notice of price reductions. Ah, the clever shopper knows that these reductions are typically on out of season merchandise.
What might be a better way to connect with women who have shopped the store in the past?
Have the call be about the customer! What might woman who shop in this store be looking for?
Personal service – believe it or not, many woman just hate to shop for clothing. What if the caller said that they are there to offer a personal shopping experience. They offer to help them to find clothing to suit their style. They give their name and say, “Ask for me” or better yet, they offer to make an appointment … setting aside time just for them. OK, now the shopper is starting to remember why they shop at this store instead of just shopping low price.
OK, so what if there is going to be a special evening event and the sales gal is trying to get people to come. What can she tell the shopper? How about, “You know what, contrary to popular belief, it is actually not that crowded at these events. Evening is a quiet time to shop and I will have more time to dedicate to you. In addition, you get to take advantage of the special sales that will only happen during that time.” You will not get everyone to jump on it, but at least it tries to address concerns that the shoppers may have. At the very least, they probably will not hang up on you or be rude.
Here is an idea. Why not ask the shopper about their shopping experience from the past and see what they are actually looking for. Then you can tailor the conversation to meet their needs.
Unfortunately, the management of this retail store has no idea whether or not these phone calls are working. Because they do not address the customer needs, the shopper gets annoyed and can be either rude or just hang up. The sales gals hate the task so much that they fabricate (lie about?) the number of calls made when asked.
It is not that tough to relate to your customers. It may take a bit of careful ‘noodling’ (brainstorming) to clarify what they need and want, but it is worth it.