Frustrations of a Retail/Commission- Based Employee
Retailers vs. Boutiques
First we'll look at the difference between what a retailer is and what a boutique setting is.
Retailers can include various places like Steinmart, Khols, Walmart, and even Target. Although these places carry retail clothing items, they do not cater to a crowd looking for assistance with their clothing, and the setting is a self serve environment where you can take as many items as you can carry into a dressing room. You can shop and do everything without even speaking to an employee.
Boutiques or Shoppes are usually more intimate, smaller spaces that give off a high end appeal. These stores cater towards an experience for a buyer to be comfortable and confident with their purchase. At small stores like these the retail employees only job is to help you grab sizes and make suggestions based on your likes, creating a personalized feel. These stores are not a help yourself kind of place.
Not a 'Help Yourself' Store
My first frustration comes when customers walk in and treat my tiny boutique like a self service Payless.
Explained: As described above, boutiques hire employees such as myself solely to educate customers about product features, offer sizing help, and make suggestions. This makes it frustrating for employees when customers come in and start trying on all the display shoes without asking for assistance. Also, for aesthetic pleasure, boutiques keep their smallest sizes (usually 5) on display. If you are bigger than this size you are going to stretch that shoe. It is very hard as it is for people with small feet to find shoes, the last thing a salesperson wants is to lose a sale because a shoe is too stretched out. Most customers respond with " I just want to see what it looks like" when I ask them if they have the right size, you wnot be able to see what it looks like when it's four sizes too small for you.
No Food or Drinks Allowed
My Second Frustration is when customers come in with food/drink and become annoyed when politely told you cannot have those items while handling product.
Explained: This seems so common sense but it boggles my mind to see it time and time again. I always offer a space on my front counter for customers to set drinks or food down while they browse. In a boutique setting, usually it's so prestige you don't want to touch any displays or product, let alone walk in with a pretzel and oozy cheese. Don't expect much respect if you come in eating or with dirty greasy hands.
The Danger of Lotions
My third frustration Is when customers come in to try something on but are wearing some sort of lotion all over their body.
Explained: Now when I say lotion I mean any of the following: heavily scented lotion, shimmer/glitter lotion, self tanning lotion, and a spray tan. These obviously will stain clothing or the soles of shoes, making it unfit to sell to another customer after trying it just once with lotion on. . The glitter lotion will make it near impossible to get all the glitter out of the sole of a shoe, this is why stockings are important and are not just for people with "dirty feet".
Customers Just Killing Time
My fourth frustration is when I get pretend customers.
Explained: It's understanding when a customer is looking for a particular style, and you try a few pairs but nothing works out, it happens here and there. my frustration kicks in when a customer lets me know in some way that they want to bother me and try on a bunch of shoes yet they have no intent to purchase or even just want to get a picture wearing expensive heels. I'm sure if you were the purchaser of those shoes you wouldn't want a million pairs of feet going through them. Most pretend customers tend to be my rudest. More often than not they are the ones that reply with "I'm just looking" when I greet them. My job is to help people find shoes they love, not babysit shoes all day while I watch random people try them on willy nilly.
Beware of the Online Shopper
My fifth and final frustration is when I've helped a customer and when it comes time to ring up, she asks me for the style number or name of the pieces so she can find them cheaper online.
Explained: Do not under any circumstances waste the time of a commission based employee if you have no intent to buy, or if you have intent on getting sized correctly and ordering the same shoe from an unknown online retailer. Being a single person I can only help 1 to 2 people at a time while giving them the proper attention they need while picking things out. The last thing a salesperson needs is for someone who knows they are going to go home and give their money to an unknown source rather than the person who made sure you were wearing the right size and took the time to do so.
If you feel I've left anything out or have a story please share in the comments. Best way to eliminate our frustrations is to put them out there to discuss. :)
© 2015 Lindsey