Sink or Swim: Taking Cues from Customers
Daily pop up storms aside, what’s not to love about summer? I’ve got an answer: bathing suit shopping. (Ladies, I know some of you are nodding your head in agreement!) Unfortunately, in anticipation of an extended beach getaway, I couldn’t postpone this dreaded task any longer.
I ventured out to a local swimwear boutique that specialized in fitted sizes beyond the generic S, M, L. But an inattentive sales attendant quickly crushed any hope I had of making a purchase. Admittedly, I don’t specialize in closing deals and landing big accounts. However, there’s something to be said for the customer perspective—even if it’s seemingly uncomplicated. And if my little corner of the Internet can help even one person, consider your time here well spent. Here’s where things went wrong and how it could’ve been a better experience for both parties.
Do Your Research. When I walked into the shop, I wasn’t sure what I wanted. My noncommittal attitude was immediately met with questions like: What size are you? What do you like? And the heaviest-hitting question: Do you wear tankinis? Fair enough, but a little more investigative work was needed. If I didn’t know any better, how would my sales attendant? Help indecisive buyers along by asking specific questions. For example, in my case: Do you prefer solid colors or patterns? Bottoms—mid-rise, skirted or string? Will you be swimming a lot or are you just trying to achieve the perfect tan (flimsy material/cut versus support)?
Listen. Looking back, I offered most of the information with little guidance from my sales attendant. As I frantically searched my brain for any valuable information to relay, my attendant didn’t once look at me. She instead stared down the various racks of bathing suits and began pulling random hangers. About five minutes later, I received a hodgepodge of styles and was directed to the fitting room. Chalk it up to desperation, call it passivity—with disappointment plastered across my face, I tried on the “so not me” options. Clearly she didn’t hear me say “Anything but tankinis” earlier, or I wouldn’t now be carrying 10 of them.
Don’t get defensive. After a half hour of facepalming, accompanied by excessive sighing, I felt defeated. Guilty even, as though I failed the sales attendant and her three “heavy-hitting” questions. I thanked her and said, “Well, I guess nothing worked/or is going to work.” Her response? “There are other options, you just didn’t like them.” Note, she was not smiling and there was no apologetic or regretful tone. Quite the opposite. Dumbstruck, I stared at her and proceeded to leave the store. That wasn’t my first time shopping at this store, but it certainly was my last. Keeping your cool even if things don’t work out is simply common sense (though sometimes it’s good to be reminded).