Monday, February 27, 2006

Dilema - What Would You Do?

Let's just say there is a guy who comes into your store. He hasn't been employed since about September, so he doesn't have money to spend in the store. Yet, he comes in AT LEAST once each week - sometimes up to three times. Usually he'll flip through single Magic and/or Yu-Gi-Oh cards for a while, maybe buy a few ten cent cards, just to say he bought something. Then he'll stand around and talk to you for an hour or two. Let's say he also doesn't have an "inside voice," so he is constantly shouting. Then, if a customer comes in he won't stop talking or get away from the counter to let other people come up, unless you ask him to. He interrupts conversations with other customers, he has offered to tell people where they can find similar items at lower prices, he has told people that an item they're looking at isn't any good... But even if he is the only one in the store, he is loud and irritating. And again - he's usually around for a minimum of one hour, often two, talking your ear off about nothing important. He keeps you from getting other work done and from properly interacting with customers who have money.

HOW do you get him to leave without being rude or mean? Or, do you put up with him because he's a customer?


Scott King said...

Tell it to him like it is.

Let's name him Gerald. I'd be like:
"Gerald, I really need to talk to you about something. I try to treat all my customers with respect and I try to treat them equal no matter how much they do or don't spend. One of the few things I do expect of my customers is that share the same sense of respect. Whenever you are in here you are very loud and disruptive to anyone who comes in. I've had several complaints and I really need you to try and be respectful to others when you are in here."

---so he'll be a little hurt and angry, but he'll say he'll try. Then when he doesn't you give him the BOOT!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm a sensitive guy. And I come in and talk to Lisa and Craig too, but I guess I'm not there for an hour or more, and I try to step out of the way when another customer comes in. Huummmmmm.....This guy just seems like a doufus who has no manners...So maybe try talking to him, or like the other guy said, GIVE HIM THE BOOT!!!! Wait, I have a solution, Hire a security guy and limit browsing to like 20 or 30 minutes, and then he gives em THE BOOT!!! That's my solution, and I work cheap!!

Anonymous said...

I would let him know that you "like" to discuss certain topics with them but that you have to draw a line when they start chasing business out of the store. I do not think it would be a big deal if you gave that person an altimatum. YOu could say "Stop doing a dis-service to my business and the potential sales that I could have; otherwise you are no longer welcome at my store."

This person has to get the hint that you are unsatisfied with the way he talks to other customers or it is not going to change. And the only way you can give that hint is if you TELL that person. This person obviously has little to no people skills so you cannot assume that he will get hints. YOu need to tell that person up front. Part of being a store owner is to set guidelines for the store and this person is obviously affecting your business in a way that you do not like.

Remember, you are saying that you do not mind their business and that you like the conversations (whether or not you do) with them but you have to draw a line when it effects your business and sales.

It is like what you always say about customers who complain about the way they are treated at other comic stores, but do not leave andf take there business elsewhere.

Losing 2-3 dollars a week is not going to hurt your business, and if things are cheaper at other stores, let him shop there. I would not be so afraid about offending this person. It is your store and you need to deal with this head on.

Mike Costello

Anonymous said...