are you driving your customers away and loosing $$$

December 20th, 2011

The other day I decided to purchase a book for one of the whanau for Christmas. Quite an easy task you’d think – well that’s what I thought until I met obstacle after obstacle and ended up heading online. Which made me think, are some retailers making it hard for their customers to buy from them and loosing potential sales?

Now I have to say that I am an online fan and I do buy a number of books wirelessly for myself but on this occasion I wanted a ‘real book’ with paper pages and the works!

So what went wrong?

The first issue I had was the phone call to the store to see if they had it in stock. No one would answer the phone. It clicked through to an answer phone and gave me some options but none that I wanted. In fact I rang a local number but was told about a store in another town!

Assuming there was some technical hitch (me dialling the wrong number) I hung up and tried again – with the same result. Maybe I’m a snob, but if I ring a landline during business hours  I do like to talk to a real person. Now I appreciate people can’t always get to the phone, but there are a number of companies that provide phone answering support. I guess it’s a case of what’s best for the company or what’s best for the client.

I checked online for the local number, rang again and once more ended up in a store in a different town. It went into the ‘too hard’ basket and I gave up.

After not having much luck with that call I decided to actually visit another retailer to see if they had it in stock. No they didn’t have the one I was after was the flat response. No asking if they could order it for me, checking to see when it may arrive or any other helpful assistance. Not even a smile or try and sell me something else! C’mon I had money in my wallet (well a plastic card) and was after a gift!

So I left that store after leaving my name and number and a very non-interested sales person.

Back to the office and one last call to the first store and once again no real person. Now let’s see – www……..

So have a think, is there anything you’re doing in your business which may be driving customers away?

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