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DjJoe's Rants

Ramblings from a Customer

Rating: 3 votes, 3.33 average.
I went to a comic and collectibles store this past Friday night.

Now mind you, I know I declared myself a quitter in terms of Pokemon. Same goes for Magic, Yugioh, VS, and so forth. I still know how to play those games, and my current interest lies with Heroclix. Resume story.

So I go in to this shop looking for Heroclix Merchandise. It's Friday night, so naturally there is an FNM of about 18 players going on. I'm going to leave the name and location of the store out of this story by the way, because on the off-chance the guy was having a bad night or a bad employee or whatever, I don't want to tarnish a good name.

Anyway, so I walk in, and the set up is pretty wide in variety. He's got Comic Books, Cards (a small singles case and every standard set boosters for Magic and Pokemon), action figures, statues, graphic novels, wrestling, and so forth. If you're looking for some random comic book related merchandise then this is the place.

So I find the Heroclix section, which is just a small set-up with a few sets. I grab the Captain America booster I was looking for, and bring it to the counter. here is the conversation that we had:

Him: Can I help you find anything?
Me: Got exactly what I was looking for, actually
Him: I'll take you over on this side of the register
Me: Do you run Heroclix events or do you just have the product?
Him: Do you want to run an event? If you can set one up I'll you run it.
Me: Oh, no, no thanks, I don't even know how to run them. It'd just be great to have another place to play.
Him: Where do you play?
Me: <Gives him 2-3 stores I play>
Him: Oh, yeah they've been doing that stuff for a while.

Im going to stop there because after that I paid and left.

The part that got me was when he told me to run his events. That to me- VERY SLOPPY. It's unacceptable. I'm a brand new customer. I don't care that I have other places to go to and most likely hold loyalty to- in fact he didn't know that until after. The point is, a brand new customer asks a question about a store you should keep them interested. So what would be acceptable?

"No, unfortunately we don't. We've tried to a few times. If you'd like, I can take down your name and number, talk to a few other customers that get purchase heroclix, and maybe I can give you a call to set something up with a group we can grow"

What does that accomplish? Let me tell you, in order of least to most important:

1) It generates interest in what you're selling. As a customer, I want to be sure what I brought is worth my money. It's what will drive me to buy more of it. If the person selling it has not a clue about it, it must not be good. I'm a player, so I know, but you give that attitude to someone getting someone a gift, like a family member or just a random passerby? No good.

2) It generates enthusiasm. Optimism, at it's best, and you know this because he wants it to happen. To me that means IF it happens, you're going to be accomodated as a customer. He's going to grab your attention, he's going to try to sell you more, he's going to try to make you COME BACK.

3) It shows effort. So what if the first half of that suggestion is a lie? The customer doesn't need to know that, in fact since it's in the past the customer probably doesn't care. But when you show the customer you're willing to work with them to make them happy, they'll respect you for that. If nothing else, the next time they want to buy something, you'll be that muchn higher on the list of stops.

4) It shows responsibility. Here's how I took the original statement- "Why come here? Just grab some friends and play". Because in essence, that's all it's accomplishing. The only difference this guy's original offer had was that if I play there versus my kitchen table, I can turn around and buy a booster. That's ASSUMING he gives us a table or something. As a STORE, the responsibilty to get people inside and playing is the store's, not the customer. Advertising. Deals. Interests- get people in your store.

When I told him I play in 2-3 other places (I gave him the names of stores he knew off, too), the conversation didn't unfold. It pretty much stopped right there. As a store with competition, he should have at least asked "How's that working out for them?" or offered "If I'm closer, I wouldn't mind looking into holding events, let me gather information from my customers.." and go into what I said above.

As of right now- I will NOT go back into that store. It gave off that "Give me money and I'll give you product" essence rather than that warm friendly atmosphere where you want to come back to at least look at what they got and strike up a conversation or two...