The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

how not to sell me a laptop

Step 1. Don't have enough sales staff. Instruct all sales staff you do have to ignore women customers, even if they are clearly trying to examine a particular item over a space of ten minutes or more.

Step 2. Tell your staff to rebuff any and all requests for help from customers and say that they are just helping someone else but will be right back. Advise them not to come back.

Step 3. Password lock your laptops so that no one can actually try them out without help of above mentioned sales staff (which will of course be virtually impossible to get, see Steps 1 and 2).

Step 4. Make any signage relating to your goods virtually indecipherable to anyone without a degree in computers. This will make the customer totally reliant on your already unavailable sales staff for translation *evil cackle*

Step 5. If a customer manages to evade your preventative measures in regard to accessing the sales staff and the item in question, make sure that you do not have the item in stock. Encourage your sales staff to order in said item from another store, but issue a clear memo, in advance, that any requests from staff in Store A to send any items to Store B are actually to be interpreted by Store B as an instruction to sell the item to someone else as quickly as possible. To rub salt into the wound, get the staff in Store A to tell the customer that it will only be a day or two before the laptop arrives.

Step 6. When the customer has the gall to come in, because they were passing, a week after the item was supposed to arrive, and ask about it, make sure your staff are perplexed and flustered by the absence of said item. This will make the customer question their memory and only be able to persist if they have a receipt that clearly records their deposit.

Step 7. Once the customer realises that you have already sold their laptop to someone else they may give up. If they do you have won. If they do not you will have to carry out extreme measures by selling them another laptop which will turn out to be ex-service and have a key missing (preferably something like the Y key, which is relatively infrequently used and may break the spirit of the customer, causing them to give up and keep the defective laptop).

Step 8. If the customer is particularly hardy, and still wants a laptop after all this, they are a worthy adversary indeed. Give them a better laptop, for the same price, and apologise profusely. And pray that you never encounter their like again.


peterquixote said...

get real and name the organisation responsible,

Joe Hendren said...

perhaps peterquoxote you would like to try to rephase that comment - why the nastiness, especially when this is span's blog and she has voiced concern recently over the nastiness that is creeping into comments on blogs.

A simple, "what was the name of the organisation you were dealing with?", would suffice.

Kakariki said...

Totally tautoko step one!

I went into a computer parts shop the other day coz I'm looking at buying another whizzbang gadget for my other brain. I stood there for a good 15 minutes feeling exceptionally invisible. And then left the shop. I probably would've spent my money there but given that none of their staff would talk to me (and they had spare staff) I didn't bother. And I would name them but I can't remember what it was called. It was in Hamilton, that's about it.

And yeah, constructive comments would be nice!

Johnny the Red said...

I'm putting my money on it being Harvey Norman. Without a doubt the crappest computer buying experience I've ever had (of course, I finally gave up and went to the little shop around the corner and got a 10 times better deal from the owner-operater. which just goes to show what an idiot i was to try buying a computer from a chain store in the first place).

span said...

actually steps 1 - 4 apply to multiple shops, every single one i went into (probably about 10).

the problem is that i don't have the technical know-how to go to the Little Shop Around the Corner (TM), i need a package!

Cheezy said...

In that case, my only advice would be to resist the temptation of buying from the ostensibly cheaper online vendors.

The 'retailers' you encountered in that shop do sound like a nightmare, but at least you can look them in the (vacant) eye and demand satisfaction, if it all goes horribly wrong.

Rich said...

There are very few computer suppliers, chain or otherwise, that offer decent service.

The problem is that the amount of handholding an average end-user needs in buying a computer exceeds the margin you could possibly make on selling it.

Campus IT departments often have smarter-than-average staff..

MERC said...

Pop along to the Expo Centre and see the lovely people from Lenovo.

MERC said...

Oops think the Expo is over. I got good service from Ubertech (Parnell), but that would be a Mac. I also have a wintel laptop...both are good but I use them for different things.

Google is a good place to start research, then go to a seller purely on the basis of getting the best price and warranty.

stef said...

I love techno shopping these days. They have a 10 story mart with all things tech related. All I need is a price from an online site, wear a skimmpy top and let my clevage do the negoitating.

span said...

my cleavage doesn't have a very loud voice, unfortunately. ;-)

Gman said...

Or you can get what I got at a certain Australian owned electronics store when i wanted to buy a rather expensive piece of software: the guy behind having an intimate discussion about what a great fantastic guy (better than any other guy in the whole wide world) he was to his girlfriend on the phone...

Michael said...

Had a similar experience getting our new computer. More steps needed:

Step 5.2
If your staff do encounter someone who knows about computers and has a question that they need answered - bluff the answer.

Step 5.3
If the customer in 5.2 insists on a correct answer, just shrug and give a non-committal answer like 'they all do, don't they'. Don't get a specification sheet or manaual as this will have a definitive answer.

Step 5.4
Even when the customer tells you they're not interested in a different machine, keep trying to upsell them.