Monday, April 17, 2006

Retail Sales Tip - Are Policies Killing Your Business?

I'm constantly underwhelmed by retailers who make it difficult to do business with them. Here's an example;

A lady buys a sweater and shortly after leaving the store she notices that the sales associate had over-charged her for it. She immediately returned to the store to ask for a refund only to be told that all refunds had to be issued by check by their head office. Even though the employee made the mistake, she refered to the company policy and refused to give the customer the amount she had been overcharged!

Here's another example...

My teenage daughter was looking for a new top to wear with a specific pair of pants. Unfortunately, she did not bring the pants with her when she went shopping. After venturing into several stores, she eventually came across two tops she really liked. Her only concern was whether or not they would match and fit well with her pants. When she asked about the store's return policy she was told that a refund could not be given - instead they would issue a credit note. My daughter is a university student which means that money is pretty tight so she was reluctant to spend her hard-earned cash if she couldn't bring the items back. It's not like she planned to wear the tops once or twice and return them - which is known to happen in retail. She was a serious buyer. However, because of the store's policy she chose to continue shopping. That particular store lost at least $100 in revenue that day because of their policy.

I recognize that retailers face a multitude of challenges and that consumers are more difficult to please than ever before. But let's face it, sometimes policies need to be bent because of the situation or circumstances. Far too often, companies create policies to protect themselves from the minority of customer rather than making it easy for the majority of people to buy from them.

Examine your policies and make sure they're not costing YOU business.


For free sales tips go to

No comments: