Don’t mess it up

There was a post regarding customer service that I made a couple years ago. This is kind of related to customer service but not exactly what I want to share in this section. This is more of a ‘how-to-blow-away-your-customer-in-minutes’. I am not exactly the most expert person regarding retail, but I did some customer catching job in a mall basis, so I know quite some about it. Of course it would be different when you just waiting for customers to come and check your stall or when you have to charm your way and make a customer willingly stop at your stall.

A few days ago my family and I went to one of the biggest mall in my city. My mom remembers that her cleansing soap is running out, so she decided to stop by at one of the famous cosmetic brand stall inside the department store. I was actually was not paying as much attention at first, because since my mom knows what she is looking for, I assumed it would be a quick stop. After a while she seemed to be struggling with the option the sales lady had given her. I was with a friend as well at the time (he came along, apparently), so I didn’t listen to the sales lady at all. Since my mom didn’t come into a conclusion of what she wanted to buy with all the promotion that got me confused, so I asked the sales lady what was the promotion she was talking about. She explained it way too complicated, when I know for sure it can be a lot easier to digest and smoother to do it some other way.

I supposed it wouldn’t hurt to elaborate a little. The items that my mom needed were a cleansing soap and a make-up powder. Sadly those two items are not on sale, so there was not any discount or any free item coming along purchasing any of those two items. As most Asian mom would ask, my mom asked if there is any discount, and the saleslady could easily cut it with a no and possibly a genuine smile. She didn’t. She complicated it with if my mom buys the cleansing soap and day essence plus adding another skin care item she will be getting a 20% discount. My mom then refused because she doesn’t need the day essence or any other skin care products at that moment. The sales lady then put a sunblock item and said something like “or you can buy this sunblock with the cleansing soap and another skincare product for 15% discount.” I was in total amazement at the time. Clearly, my mom wasn’t interested in any of those discounts because she doesn’t need it. She actually did up-sale my mom from normal cleansing foam into a cleansing cream because in the cream there is a collagen inside, which is a fair point for my mom’s age, so I guess she did a good job pointing that out and selling the proper product for her customer.

On the other hand, she confused my mom with the entire discount with different products that she literally doesn’t need. She could have just point out that there will be no discount given or there is no promotion for the product she was looking for and it will all be normal price. Then, she could explain the promotion item separately, ideally after my mom agreed to buy the items she needed — then maybe my mom would be impulsive enough to add because she already buying the first two products she was looking for anyways.

In the end, my mom did not buy anything from that stall, and the sales lady lost a returning customer. It was supposed to be an easy sell.

I’m pretty sure it was already well pointed out what mistake she had in terms of explanation of the promotion/discounted items. Her appearance on the other hand also did not help her case. I am not trying to judge her personality by how she dressed up and I didn’t pay attention much to that until my friend pointed it out either. She was wearing a small blazer that couldn’t cover her whole upper body — so technically it shows her chest, and unfortunately she has quite a size breast as well. The shirt inside her blazer was pink, she didn’t cover her pimples and it wasn’t just one or two. She has braces on her teeth with quite unmatched color. Overall it was kind of a mess.

I am not saying she is ugly. She could have done better with her appearance the fact that she is selling skin care product. It was all wrapped up with a no smile zone on her part and she literally blew the whole thing away.

I would say it was unfortunate for her. My mom could buy the same product on other stall, but she could have extra sales that day without any effort.


If any of you are doing retail, please pay attention to your appearance. You don’t have to wear expensive clothing, or high end shoes. Be neat. Look professional. Add a smile on your face. Be simple. Explain things the way that it’ll be easy for people to understand. Serve the customers with delight. Customers can be cranky. They can be very annoying. Do all these for yourself. Do something that you would want to be treated as a customer. Nobody dense enough that they wouldn’t feel the warmth when you share it to them. Some customers can be pretty awkward in public places, sure. It doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t make their day by doing a good service to them. Unknowingly, they might actually go back to your stall no matter how far it is because you’re the one working there.

Wouldn’t you be happy as well if you make someone’s day better?



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