At The 2019 NAMM Show, Tim Pratt of Dietze Music revealed the dangers of getting complacent with customers—and simple fixes for this issue. Social media and online review apps, such as Yelp, have changed how customers view businesses, and their perception that businesses don’t care can be a serious problem, especially if customers leave and never come back. Many times, retailers don’t even know this is happening because unhappy customers never complain.
According to Pratt, there are numerous reasons why people don’t shop with you, but he identified 10 classic examples of poor customer service and turn offs through video re-enactments that every retailer can relate to. (Watch the video to see these re-enactments and view the full session.)
10 Store Experiences That Turn Customers Away
1. Apathy. Staff gives the appearance of not caring and doesn’t engage with customers.
2. Too busy. Staff behaves as if other tasks are more important than helping customers and forgets the store’s mission and vision. Pratt pointed out that we’ve all been to a store where you can’t get help because an employee is simply too busy.
3. The complainer. This type of employee is poison to your team, and his or her negativity can affect the whole business. Watch out for chronic complainers on your staff.
4. The performer. An employee who’s more interested in his or her own playing than helping a customer.
5. Information overload. This employee continually talks, wants to tell you everything he or she knows, doesn’t listen and often rambles about the history of an instrument instead of helping meet a customer’s needs.
6. Angry. This employee doesn’t mind sharing his or her bad mood with others. Pratt noted that the angry employee doesn’t consider the value of long-term repeat business.
7. Condescending. This employee might act superior for working in a music store and exhibits what Pratt calls a “music store attitude.” He or she doesn’t care what the customer wants, doesn’t listen and treats customers as if they’re never going to be good musicians. This attitude can also spread in the store.
8. Talks you out of it. This employee tells the customer to consider a different product and creates doubt, even with high-ticket items. As Pratt mentioned, you don’t know who you’re talking with and whether the person will turn into long-term a customer.
9. Clutter and mess. In day-to-day business, you might walk past messes and not notice them. But when you can’t find anything and your showroom is disorganized, it can be distracting and hold up the sales process. This is easily remedied: Clean up, and give your customer a better experience.
10. No one home. How many times have you gone to a store and can’t find anyone to help you? Yet employees often don’t know they’re doing this. They leave the floor, and the store’s unattended. Pratt stressed that the customer standing in front of you is the most important person.
• Recognize the problem. Have a secret shopper come into your store—someone your staff doesn’t know. Give this person questions to ask the staff, so you can evaluate the customer experience.
• Retrain staff. The best salesperson is someone who gets to know the customer. Pratt shared his wife’s saying: “You can’t make someone want to help someone.” Pratt advised nurturing and building the relationships with your staff and customers.
• Replace. Sometimes, you try to redirect and end up having to let staff go, or you may move a staffer into another role. Pratt shared an example of moving a good salesperson into a road rep position, which ended up being a good fit, and the person is thriving. It’s something you need to continually look at and put time and energy into.