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Educating Your Customer

The people who still choose to shop in brick and mortar stores do so because they appreciate the service. I believe that part of that service is educating your customer; however, sometimes we’re too afraid to lose what little customer base we have left, so we aren’t as outspoken as we need to be.

Yesterday we had two customers who were looking for youth products that they’ve used in the past. One was a 2006 resource. In youth ministry terms that’s not just a long time ago, that’s forever ago. But the other customer wanted a 2002 title. So I did my best to explain that while there are a few products that last a little longer, for the most part you want something that the teen will perceive as current. This might involve browsing the store or allowing us to use our expertise to locate something suitable that we can bring in, with no customer obligation.

Neither person would have any of it. Both were determined to keep looking around until they found a store that still had their pet product. I’m guessing they’ll give up around 4:00 PM on December 24th.

The lesson — and I am guilty of not doing this — is that we need to order student products in conservative quantities and mark down youth resources in a faster time frame than we might do for other items in the store.

Products for tweens and teens simply have a shorter shelf life.

But we also need to educate our customers as to why this is; and help them to see the products through teenaged eyes.

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