Monday, January 03, 2005

Sales person from hell

RM2.80 Posted by Hello

A cook busy cutting up chicken chunks for the next customer's chicken rice, Centerpoint, Kota Kinabalu, 2003.

When it comes to shopping, the salesperson at any store can be either a hindrance or a great help. This depends on how they treat their customers and conducts themselves; are they overzealous in trying to get you to buy their products or do they even acknowledge your existence at all.

Frankly for me, I prefer to shop at my own leisure without someone hovering at the back of me as if I’ve the look of a shoplifter or that I am inept to the point of being unable to choose my own preference. First the good, salesperson should remain at a comfortable distance, not crowding into your personal space nor staring and hovering over you like vultures stalking a kill. Helpful ones are there when you need them, knowledgeable about the goods sold by their department when asked such as questions on pricing, stock availability and assistance in choosing. They accommodate you in any way and are always friendly with the thought that the customer comes first. They don’t scowl at me when I want to see your product and don’t treat me as if I’m taking up their time if I want to see the selection they have. When I bought my camera, the aunty at the Sony Centre in Wisma Merdeka was a great help, she allowed me to test all her products, took the time to explain the new functions of the cameras, was helpful when I enquired about after purchase service, agreed to open the shop till past her business hours so that I can make it and make my purchase and even got me a contact that wanted to buy off my first digital camera at a good price. It was a joy to shop there and that’s why I kept on going back there.

Now, for the bad. There are so many instances of salesperson ruining my shopping experience that I don’t know where to start. The most obscene of these would be if you visit Centerpoint (CP) in Kota Kinabalu. The main specialty available here for food is the infamous RM2.80 chicken rice, it’s a trend here in Kk with everyone proclaiming to sell their chicken rice at that price to the point that CP alone has about 10 of them all clustered at the food court. On the contrary though the price is cheap, there is nothing to shout about and I find the Hainanese Chicken rice back home more palatable than what is found here, but people seem to love them. Now imagine you’re just walking by shopping and heading to say like Watson to get some stuff, suddenly you find 5 people blocking the narrow passageway to the shop and all of them are shouting “Nasi ayam! Hanya RM 2.80. Char sau (pork BBQ)? Mari mari (come come)!” This is only for chicken rice oh for goodness sake! Why do you need to hire 5 people to suddenly stalk someone just to get them to eat at your stall! Is it that cheap to hire people to just stand there the whole day and promote! Plus they never let up, after you’ve said no to their face or never even show interest in the first place, they still hound you.

Other times when I’m at the departmental stores choosing clothes, a bunch of sales ladies would hover behind me without a word and quietly follow with the evil eye. Don’t they know this makes me uncomfortable! It so hard to choose something with them there and they just don’t realise it. Worst still are those that never even give you a single glance, you try to get their attention to ask about prices of a different size and she happily sits down at the counter talking away on the phone to their girl/boyfriends and when you ahem them they look at you as if you’re the one intruding and inconveniencing them. What more, you ask them about something and they don’t know the answer stating they need to confirm with their bosses first.

Ever tried going into a shop say the Diamond Centre and have everyone in there staring at you and quietly stating in their minds, “What this kid can’t afford anything we have here, what is he doing hanging around here, maybe we should observe him lest he is up to no good” The cheek of it, how can they judge that someone hasn’t the cash to buy their products or have they not heard of window shopping?

Another breed of salesperson would be the insincere types, fronting a smile as wide as their face when they judge you as a potential customer and trying to go out of their way to accommodate your demands yet while in the end you decide not to buy anything they quickly change their composure with a scowl that indicates you have wasted their time for nothing and eye you with blades coming through their eyes.

Thus often the salesperson is the spokesperson for a store and if the first impression they give to a potential customer is a bad one, they can’t expect them to want to shop back again in future.

1 comment:

elaine said...

I know what you mean kervin. This situation is so typical and i am ashamed of it cus i live in kk :) I have exactly the same experience for many years! Their behaviour has become more drastic than ever!