88 posts in this topic

Posted

It's her business; She should spend time to educate people on it. If she doesn't want to do that, she can make it harder for people to ever go in or get anything. It is her choice, but from a business perspective, it is the wrong choice to make.

If I got ****ed every time someone came into my business asking questions about all the size storage units, temps, safety, and so on and on, and then left looking for something else, I'd rightfully go out of business in a short time. People will have questions. It is the business that needs to answer them. If you feel it is a waste of time to secure a sale, then maybe you are in the wrong business.

I don't think she is saying there is anything wrong with answering a question at all. I think her issue is that this is not an occasional thing, but a chronic problem. And for a business like hers, with a lot of overhead, that is going to be more expensive than a large supermarket, the one thing that she is essentially selling is that one on one touch. The customer service. Because you can't get that from the cheaper supermarkets... So instead, people come to her for the customer service, then go to the large supermarket to purchase the product...

You seem to be under the miss-perception that she's upset about a single customer, or that marketing will somehow improve her position, but what is actually occurring is that the product that she is marketing (The customer service) is essentially being stolen. There is a big difference between what you are conveying and what is actually happening... :rolleyes:

Now, as I have said, I am not saying that charging a fee is the right thing or the wrong thing, but it brings light to a very real (And serious) issue for small businesses like hers. They cannot beat the large companies on price, so instead they do so on customer service and the personal touch. But what are they then to do when the product they are now selling (Being more of a service business now than a product business) is literally being stolen? They have to do something or they will go out of business. And then everyone will be very sad to see this small business close because of all the great service they will no longer be able to get for FREE, but had they actually purchased goods there to show their appreciation for the service being offered, the business would still be open.

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Posted

Wonder how long it takes before they go out of business...

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Posted

I don't think she is saying there is anything wrong with answering a question at all. I think her issue is that this is not an occasional thing, but a chronic problem. And for a business like hers, with a lot of overhead, that is going to be more expensive than a large supermarket, the one thing that she is essentially selling is that one on one touch. The customer service. Because you can't get that from the cheaper supermarkets... So instead, people come to her for the customer service, then go to the large supermarket to purchase the product...

You seem to be under the miss-perception that she's upset about a single customer, or that marketing will somehow improve her position, but what is actually occurring is that the product that she is marketing (The customer service) is essentially being stolen. There is a big difference between what you are conveying and what is actually happening... :rolleyes:

Now, as I have said, I am not saying that charging a fee is the right thing or the wrong thing, but it brings light to a very real (And serious) issue for small businesses like hers. They cannot beat the large companies on price, so instead they do so on customer service and the personal touch. But what are they then to do when the product they are now selling (Being more of a service business now than a product business) is literally being stolen? They have to do something or they will go out of business. And then everyone will be very sad to see this small business close because of all the great service they will no longer be able to get for FREE, but had they actually purchased goods there to show their appreciation for the service being offered, the business would still be open.

I fully understand it. And you said it as well, small businesses have to give a lot more on customer service and personal touch. By the attitude she has displayed, It would seem that her touch is a tad rough.

I am in basically the exact boat. Small independent storage facility. I have around 5 major branded national storage properties around me, with maybe another 10 to 15 smaller ones. What makes my place more appealing is the customer service I provide and the convenience that I offer. A customer of ours could very well go a few miles down the road and get a unit cheaper. The reason they don't, is because of what I offer to them beyond what they get at normal facilities. This is what small businesses MUST do. And all day long, I am on the phone or talking to "would be" customers. About 90% of all customers of mine call around and "waste" time of mine and other businesses. But if you actually treat it as "wasted" time, you have actually just wasted a sale. This is why you must be open to customers just stopping by, treat them like they are your best customers, and show them why their time at your business is appreciated.

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Posted

This has been going on in Australia for a couple of years now.

It has? can you enlighten me? This is the only store in Brisbane I know of that does this, I work in the CBD.

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Posted

I fully understand it. And you said it as wel, small businesses have to give a lot more on customer service and personal touch. By the attitude she has displayed, It would seem that her touch is a tad rough.

I'm not sure how I can possibly be clearer...

Now, please pause and READ the below response...

Because the service she is offering, the one that her business is built upon, is being STOLEN... This isn't bad customer service, it is an attempt to charge for the service she is marketing. No "better" customer service will solve the problem. People have no respect for her time, if she offered better customer service they would surely only steal that too. Above someone referred to it as a "consultation fee", that's a very good description of it. And this fee I guarantee would be waived for actual customers (In fact the article itself says that she will refund it if you purchase something), so in actuality, this likely won't impact her business much other than reducing the number of people that come to her for free customer service before going to the big supermarket.

Now, please read that again. Maybe a few times...

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Posted

I'm not sure how I can possibly be clearer...

Now, please pause and READ the below response...

Because the service she is offering, the one that her business is built upon, is being STOLEN... This isn't bad customer service, it is an attempt to charge for the service she is marketing. No "better" customer service will solve the problem. People have no respect for her time, if she offered better customer service they would surely only steal that too. Above someone referred to it as a "consultation fee", that's a very good description of it. And this fee I guarantee would be waived for actual customers (In fact the article itself says that she will refund it if you purchase something), so in actuality, this likely won't impact her business much other than reducing the number of people that come to her for free customer service before going to the big supermarket.

Now, please read that again. Maybe a few times...

You can repeat yourself all you want, I've already shown I understand what you said. I'm showing you how in real business practices, it isn't a good idea.

It's not her time being wasted. Customers will and always will shop around for the best price/experience/convenience/whatever.

It is her job. If she can not get her business to make a sale, there is something on her end. And while she can do what she is doing, in the business world, this is a bad tactic and normally does not work. She is learning the hard way, and instead of taking a proactive solution, she is laying it onto the customers. While cost are 100% always passed down to the customer, this is something that most people will turn away from.

Oh, and stolen is the wrong word. Nothing was being stolen. If she doesn't want to talk to people who aren't buying anything, she should just make a sign that says that. It would at least anger far less people and wouldn't keep people from wanting to enter your building.

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Posted

Charging is really is not the way to go IMO. People will just stop coming in to the store, research products online, and probably eventually end up buying the product elsewhere. You want to get people in the door, not keep them out of it.

Just not a good time to charge people more with the economy in lots of countries not doing so well.

My thoughts exactly. Imagine walking up to a store and seeing an "Admission:

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Posted

My thoughts exactly. Imagine walking up to a store and seeing an "Admission:

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Posted

Gluten free products are easy to find. They're generally all in the same isle in the supermarket in the US. Even if they aren't, they always plaster it really big on the packaging so you can't miss it. There's no point to go into a grocery store to examine the product for purchase elsewhere.

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Posted

Gluten free products are easy to find. They're generally all in the same isle in the supermarket in the US. Even if they aren't, they're always plaster it really big on the packaging so you can't miss it. There's no point to go into a grocery store to examine the product for purchase elsewhere.

That's what I'm thinking as well. I think this lady is actually just a rude person in some way who probably drives away sales.

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Posted

That's what I'm thinking as well. I think this lady is actually just a rude person in some way who probably drives away sales.

Or her prices are too high.

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Posted

Yeah I predict this was only implemented to get publicity or is just a really bad business move.

You know I've gone into stores to 'showroom', mainly in relation to clothes or shoes but there have been occasions (last one was with shoes) where the service was so good and friendly that I copped the extra in store price (and in australia tax) and purchased it there when it was cheaper online. That is the way to go imo as I have recommended and gone back to that store and the profit off the sales is worth more than charging me $5 and me not buying anything and never going back.

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Yeah I predict this was only implemented to get publicity or is just a really bad business move.

You know I've gone into stores to 'showroom', mainly in relation to clothes or shoes but there have been occasions (last one was with shoes) where the service was so good and friendly that I copped the extra in store price (and in australia tax) and purchased it there when it was cheaper online. That is the way to go imo as I have recommended and gone back to that store and the profit off the sales is worth more than charging me $5 and me not buying anything and never going back.

Same here. If I find something at a store I like that I could get cheaper online, I still normally buy it from the store. It is about convenience, getting it here and now; instead of having to wait and wonder how and when it will arrive. But getting hassled as you enter the store for a "viewing" fee is something that will turn almost everyone off of.

Also, this is a food store. People don't go online to get groceries, usually. I'd suspect I have about 100x the "showrooming" that this lady complains about.

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Posted

Gluten free products are easy to find. They're generally all in the same isle in the supermarket in the US. Even if they aren't, they always plaster it really big on the packaging so you can't miss it. There's no point to go into a grocery store to examine the product for purchase elsewhere.

My nephew cannot eat Gluten and my 80 some odd year old grand father cannot either (recently). All the grocery stores around my have a gluten free isle and its becoming more and more popular. I have a friend as well who cannot have gluten and she can find gluten free beer now and even a lot of Italian places make gluten free pizza/pasta. When restaurants first started to do this, the food didnt taste to good. Now you cannot tell the difference.

There is a locally bakery next to where I live that started to provide the gluten free option. Gave free dozen cinnamon rolls to my dad. They said, if you like it...please pay. But they wanted our opinions either way. My dad ended up going back and paying for them even tho they were just OK. He likes to support local/small businesses.

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Posted

Or her prices are too high.

High prices don't always mean a lost sale though. If you can show something that makes those prices worth it, people will pay. But if you aren't showing why the service and item is not worth it, then of course, you are only helping to lose a sale with high prices.

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Posted

You can repeat yourself all you want, I've already shown I understand what you said. I'm showing you how in real business practices, it isn't a good idea.

It's not her time being wasted. Customers will and always will shop around for the best price/experience/convenience/whatever.

It is her job. If she can not get her business to make a sale, there is something on her end. And while she can do what she is doing, in the business world, this is a bad tactic and normally does not work. She is learning the hard way, and instead of taking a proactive solution, she is laying it onto the customers. While cost are 100% always passed down to the customer, this is something that most people will turn away from.

Oh, and stolen is the wrong word. Nothing was being stolen. If she doesn't want to talk to people who aren't buying anything, she should just make a sign that says that. It would at least anger far less people and wouldn't keep people from wanting to enter your building.

And yet, with each post, you show more that you don't understand what I'm saying than that you do... Which is why I keep restating this in hopes that I find a way of putting this that you will understand. You seem very confused by the practice of operating a business to be entirely honest.

You say that "stolen" is the wrong word because you rationalize that products are the only thing that can be stolen when in fact you could not be more wrong. When you as a company are selling a service and someone does not pay for your service, they HAVE stolen from you.

I am trying to be as nice here as I possibly can, but I feel as if I am talking to a wall. You do NOT understand what you are talking about, no matter how many times you tell yourself (And us) that you do. You simply do not. Not even a little bit. Operating a service business is different than a product based business (And as much as I try to explain this to you, you just do not get it.).

And having some experience with this sort of thing myself, I can say that charging a nominal fee, which is applied to a customer's bill, does not hinder sales. It only weeds out those that had no intention of purchasing from you in the first place.

I understand that you seem very passionate about this discussion, and I appreciate that. But in order to understand (or theorize on) the ramifications, you have to first understand the problem. You don't.

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And yet, with each post, you show more that you don't understand what I'm saying than that you do... Which is why I keep restating this in hopes that I find a way of putting this that you will understand. You seem very confused by the practice of operating a business to be entirely honest.

You say that "stolen" is the wrong word because you rationalize that products are the only thing that can be stolen when in fact you could not be more wrong. When you as a company are selling a service and someone does not pay for your service, they HAVE stolen from you.

I am trying to be as nice here as I possibly can, but I feel as if I am talking to a wall. You do NOT understand what you are talking about, no matter how many times you tell yourself (And us) that you do. You simply do not. Not even a little bit. Operating a service business is different than a product based business (And as much as I try to explain this to you, you just do not get it.).

And having some experience with this sort of thing myself, I can say that charging a nominal fee, which is applied to a customer's bill, does not hinder sales. It only weeds out those that had no intention of purchasing from you in the first place.

I understand that you seem very passionate about this discussion, and I appreciate that. But in order to understand (or theorize on) the ramifications, you have to first understand the problem. You don't.

No, I understand it. You don't seem to understand what I'm getting at, and also you don't seem to understand what Good Business Practices are, as well as what running a business is about. You can go on and on about "her time being stolen". But you don't understand that what she is doing, is what every single business does. Nothing about it is anything special or different. If she feels that her time isn't worth the sale and what good customer service brings, she can then try this sign and see how much more business it brings. But as I have said, this is the wrong way for a small business to go.

You think her time is "stolen". You do not understand what business is about. Her time isn't stolen, it is being used, and then rejected by her customers. If she was providing a good service, most people wouldn't go somewhere else to buy food. There is obviously something wrong with either her store or herself that is driving customers away.

I'm no expert in business, but it doesn't take one to understand it and run a good one. It only takes understanding people ( at least the ones you want to provide service to ), sales, and advertising.

Again, if she think's her time is being stolen, then she should make a sign that says, " I will not talk to people who are not interested in buying product. My time is better served upon those who are our customers and in need of an actual service." This would make it seem like she is busy and wouldn't be rude. It would also not hurt her foot traffic into the buildling by putting people off with a "fee". But again, I'm a logical person who does understand what it takes to make a company thrive. If I wanted to run my company into the ground, I'd follow the actions this lady has begun.

Also, not only does this make her lose customers, it will also cost her money. Either her store isn't busy enough and she can police who enters from the counter (which would make all of this already a moot issue ) , or she has to hire/assign an employee to watch the door and "collect fees".

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Posted

My nephew cannot eat Gluten and my 80 some odd year old grand father cannot either (recently). All the grocery stores around my have a gluten free isle and its becoming more and more popular. I have a friend as well who cannot have gluten and she can find gluten free beer now and even a lot of Italian places make gluten free pizza/pasta. When restaurants first started to do this, the food didnt taste to good. Now you cannot tell the difference.

There is a locally bakery next to where I live that started to provide the gluten free option. Gave free dozen cinnamon rolls to my dad. They said, if you like it...please pay. But they wanted our opinions either way. My dad ended up going back and paying for them even tho they were just OK. He likes to support local/small businesses.

I suspect that I have an intolerance as well albeit it might be something else since I can eat some wheat products and be fine but others will give me problems--maybe a particular additive is the issue (like I'm allergic to some chapsticks but I can't pinpoint which ingredient).

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Posted

I honestly wonder how this will hold up in a courtroom.

Well it's private property right? They could charge an entrance fee if they wanted.

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I suspect that I have an intolerance as well albeit it might be something else since I can eat some wheat products and be fine but others will give me problems--maybe a particular additive is the issue (like I'm allergic to some chapsticks but I can't pinpoint which ingredient).

You're not supposed to eat chapstick :p

Well it's private property right? They could charge an entrance fee if they wanted.

Wouldn't ever get to court. Now she has to waste time "feeing" people who enter, hearing people complain before they storm out , and other such issues. I bet this ends up wasting more of her time than her actually helping would be customers. My question is, is it $5 per person, or party? What's the age limit? Seniors get a discount ? :p

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Posted

She should price match. That's all she can do. In fact that's what best buy did, for this exact reason. People were just coming into the store to look at TV and then went home and bought them online for cheaper and in some cases free shipping to their door. So I understand her pain, but what she has to do is match the price anyone finds online.

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Posted

Best Buy should be listening. :laugh:

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Posted

She should price match. That's all she can do. In fact that's what best buy did, for this exact reason. People were just coming into the store to look at TV and then went home and bought them online for cheaper and in some cases free shipping to their door. So I understand her pain, but what she has to do is match the price anyone finds online.

Price match, special order, or the myriads of other options that you can employe to make a soul and keep a customer.

One of my customers is actually a manager for Petsmart. They didn't have the brand of dog food I fed my dogs, and I discussed this with him. After a little bit of talking, we worked out a deal for each other at both our locations. I now don't have to drive as far to get the food for my pets, and he doesn't have as high of rent as he used to :p And while this was just sort of a different thing, because they now carry the brand of food I get, I also buy more items from them that I normally would just get at the other store I had to drive out of the way for.

If you normally go the extra mile for someone, they will make it worth it... normally.

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Posted

Wow her attitude would make me never want to enter her shop, in addition to the steep "entry fee".

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Although I don't agree with the idea of charging a fee, apparently you have no idea how the 2 big supermarket chains in this country have screwed small business.

There is no way she could price match, she would be losing money which she cannot afford to do.

It has been proven time and again over here how the big 2 will sell something at a loss just to close a competitor. I also think that all the naysayers here would be fairly pee'd off if they were expected to serve time wasters only to have them walk away and use the gained information to purchase elsewhere.

As I said, I don't agree with the idea. But at the same time, the problem is the purchasing power of the big 2 or the online stores where you would not be able to get the said 'professional input'.

I think the main problem is consumers who want to have a first world lifestyle but are only willing to pay third world prices.

When I worked with a builder, his favourite sayer about customers was:- "They want the Taj Mahal, but only want to pay for a tin shed". Of course, all my own opinion on the matter.

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