How to Lose a Customer in 5 Minutes

Lose a Customer Step by Step…

One of the reasons I like shopping at smaller local stores is that I enjoy being appreciated as a customer. You just don’t get that from big box stores. Unfortunately some businesses pass the “how to lose a customer” torch from one staff member to the next.

There is a store that I regularly spent money at. I had stopped shopping there because the owner was mean. I always felt like serving me was an inconvenience. Help was never offered, I always had to ask.

The final straw was one evening when I rushed to get there before closing. I arrived fifteen minutes before the posted closing time. I could see the owner inside counting money. When I knocked she didn’t even glance my way.

The other day my daughter asked if we could go in. We had some time to kill so I decided to give it another shot. We weren’t greeted upon arrival, but within a few minutes (big improvement) someone asked if we needed help finding something.

When we got to the cash we waited a bit for someone to come over. While waiting I pointed out to my daughter that this was a perfect example of what never to do in retail. This is a small store, with an unattended till right by the front door. All staff was at the back of the store.

As we were being served two other staff came and stood nearby. It sounded like one was being trained by the other. The person taking care of us seemed to be the most senior of three.

While she was finishing up the transaction, it seemed like she was preoccupied and annoyed by having to serve me. I handed her my money, she took it and closed her till drawer. As she started to turn away I nicely asked her for my change.

How to lose a customer in 5 minutes image

How not to Lose a Customer…See them, hear them, communicate with them

She turned back to me and quite firmly (not at all nicely) informed me I had given her exact change. I politely answered no I had not. I told her what I’d given her. She says (I kid you not) “then I must have given you your change.”

I proceeded to dump out my change, maybe I was wrong. There was no combination that would add up to what she now claimed to have given me. She tossed my change onto the counter, turned her back to me and proceeded to train the new (shocked) staff member.

As we left I quietly reminded my daughter that this is why I had stopped shopping here, and that I never would again. Oh and that she had just witnessed first hand an excellent example of how to lose a customer in 5 minutes.