Customers Want Products That Don’t Exist
Just now it was a loose-leaf NLT Bible. Sorry, no can do.
Earlier on it was a Bible case for a compact NLT that was smaller than small in size, but more than twice as thick as an NIV Thinline cover that remains a possible runner-up . (Is the NLT thing a theme for today?)
We all get requests for things that don’t exist, but sometimes I wonder if there are simply too many of them. It can be very discouraging and disheartening to always be saying ‘no’ to customers, and in the customer’s mind it’s always they couldn’t get it. It’s never, no one manufactures such a thing, it’s always, the bookstore couldn’t located it. It’s your fault. It’s my fault.
Part of what we should see ourselves doing is educating the customer. When we switch hats from being merely order-takers to wearing the hat of teacher, guide, instructor, informer; then in the eyes of customers we look better. They explained why they don’t make that item. They helped me understand why that’s an obscure request.
I think part of the problem is that if you get too many esoteric requests in a single day, you start to get to get frustrated and just want the customer to move on. But if you treat each one as someone to whom you want to give your best service, you can help them see why the product they are looking for would be rare commodity, and lead them toward something that will help them accomplish the goal they are trying to fulfill.