Friday, October 11, 2013

Absence of Service = Absence of Sales

Every year, or sooner when necessary, I buy my grandson a pair of black, leather school shoes. Last year it was Colorado, a quality pair of shoes that looked good, was comfortable, and withstood the trauma of being worn by an 11 year old for 12 months. No mean feat in anyone's language.

Yesterday I picked up my grandson from school and after a liquid refreshment at an ice cream parlour, we went to the first of two shops that sells quality shoes in our town. The same shop where I had bought last years shoes. The collection available was abysmal, to say the least and the few Colorado pairs were more for adult executives than school kids.

When I asked the disinterested-looking sales person if there was a Colorado catalogue from which I could choose and order a pair to be shipped in, the answer was, "no". In other words, her shop makes absolutely no effort to generate sales other than selling what meagre stock is found on the shelves.

So, we trudged off to the only other quality shoe shop where we managed to find a decent pair of shoes suitable for an active young fellow. He tried them on and I bought them.

All over our town there are empty shops. Business owners habitually and invariably whine about business being poor, tourist numbers down, locals not buying and so on. Simultaneously, advertisements on television plead for customers to "buy locally" and keep the money in the town.

There has been much said about the impact that large volume internet commerce is having on Australian businesses, especially since overseas transactions don't include goods and services tax. Part of the reason for people shopping online and overseas is because shop keepers will not go the extra mile to make a sale.

Remember a customer you gain and keep happy could be a customer for life. What is the true value of a customer for life?

Quick Customer Service Quiz

Given the above circumstances (a customer wanting a pair of Colorado shoes not in stock), what would you do:

1. Tell them you can't order from a catalogue and really don't give a rat's ass about making a lousy $130 sale
2. Tell them to go visit some other shop where they may have them
3. Go online to Colorado Australia to see if there is a pair suitable for your customer and if so, call up and order them charging the customer the retail rate, paying the wholesale rate yourself and taking up the free delivery option
4. None of the above?

Let me know your response in the comments section. It's hardly rocket science is it?

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