What small business needs to drive away customers right now? Unless that customer is an extreme misfit, the answer is none. It’s almost an absurd statement.

However, time and time again, I encounter staff that does just that. They drive away customers simply because they’re not trained to know and understand how powerful their position is.

Staff who interact face to face with customers must be given the skills to increase customer retention, not repel people.

If her goal was to get me NOT to come back . . . mission accomplished.
Samantha Irwin

Owner, Kaizen Coaching LLC

Staff Greeting – driving customers away

I walked into a store the other day, ready to get a treat to take home to the hubs who had just gotten a promotion. I was excited!

Immediately upon walking in, my eyes barely adjusting to the indoor light, the staff abruptly told me they were closed. No hello, no greeting, just a very abrupt and curt statement.

If her goal was to sour my good mood. . . mission accomplished.

If her goal was to get me NOT to come back . . . mission accomplished.

If her goal was to drive me, a customer away . . . mission accomplished.

Doing Things Differently

What could she have done? What should she have done?

Did she need to open back up the store to sell me something? She certainly COULD have; it would have been a great opportunity to grease the customer wheel. However, she didn’t need to open back up to sell me something.

She should have just greeted me with a friendly hello. Here’s how the interaction should have gone.

“Hello, how are you this hot afternoon?”

“Great, and you?”

“Very well. Are you looking for anything in particular? We just closed at 3:00 but is there something I can help you with?”

Right here she’s asking about my (the customer) needs and at the same time letting me know that they’re closed. I might be bummed at this point but certainly not irritated, angry, and using the interaction to post a blog about what not to do.

Asking the question, “is there something I can help you with?” is setting up a softball pitch to hit it out of the park.

I could have had $100 cash to buy $20 worth of treats and because she was so helpful she might have received a hell of a tip. But she’ll never know.

I could have been looking for a lunch place which she could have recommended. Her kindness would have made me want to come back to this place next time because of the goodwill extended.

Your Customer’s Reaction

The video below is the story of this interaction. I tamed my response down a bit. . .

What to do?

Thankfully this horrible staff behavior that drives customers away can be fixed quickly, painlessly, easily. It begins by raising awareness. This can be done a number of ways.

Click on any link below that strikes your fancy.

* Read a Book Together
* Watch a Video
* Conduct Some Training


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