Retail Associates Take Extra Measures to Keep You Coming Back

May 22, 2009 • Shopping

Rtw02 Amid the torrent of these financial times, many businesses are finding ways to re-invent themselves into more customer-friendly enterprises. In the retail world, that has recently translated into getting back to the roots of the shopper/salesman relationship and doing some serious reevaluation. The consensus to keep clients coming back is simple: superb customer service. Although many department stores have always utilized a customer service desk to answer customer questions or concerns, these days with the limited amount of spending going on, extra efforts are being taken to ensure every individual's utmost comfort and satisfaction while within a store.

Retail titans such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, and Lord & Taylor have facilitated customer care programs and passed out Blackberrys to their staff. This way sales associates can do everything from delivering purchases to personally emailing photos of merchandise. But given the significant amount of layoffs that have occurred within the retail industry in the past six months, that means fewer staffers are doing double the work. H&M now holds morning meetings to gear up it's staff for whatever customer issues may arise, and the best way to deal with them.

Some stores are unable to facilitate such services and are therefore taking smaller measures-aimed at lightening up the shopping environment and therefore encouraging customers to buy-such as maintaining friendlier security guards poised outside stores, placing candy bowls at cash wraps at cash wraps, and encouraging cheerful shoe salesmen to smile over their stacks of boxes. And as far as discounts go, one Lord & Taylor associate put it best by, "there's always a sale!"

All these measures are aimed at conveying the store's appreciation for its customers and so far it has not been lost on the clientele. Some, however, are more grateful for the attention than others. A sales associate at Bergdorf Goodman explained her day to day duties as a never ending stream of entitlement. “Since they are shopping [and many others are not], they feel as though they are owed something,” she said. “It’s as though they think, If I am spending this much money and no one else is, they expect to be checked on every five minutes.” But other consumers not only appreciate the extra efforts, they acknowledge the fact that it wasn't always like this. A personal shopper commented on the current state of high end retail service with, "Salespeople can’t do enough for you. It’s so different than it used to be. We were just in Prada and they were so kind and welcoming. There’s no attitude — anywhere. Now you can ask salespeople anything and they are very patient. It used to be you were judged for how you looked.”

Those days seem to be a distant history (though it really wasn't that long ago) and they have been replaced with much friendlier faces, ones who will continue to strive to make our shopping experiences unforgettable-for better or for worse. We should just try to remember that next time we're in the slow line.

Article and Photo Source: WWD

-Alia Rajput

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One Response to Retail Associates Take Extra Measures to Keep You Coming Back

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