It’s a busy Saturday afternoon at your shop. The phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting to know if you have this thing or that in stock. Which means that you have to put the phone down, walk over and find the things they want to buy from you, and then go all the way back to the phone to tell them. Then of course they want to know how much the things cost and how to get to your store. Good grief! Are you Google maps? No. You’re just a nice, hardworking shop owner who’d like some peace and quiet.
And then there are the customers who come in the door. They’re always asking stupid questions like, “Do you have this in a size 8?” or, “Does this come in red?” They mess up your display when they pull a sweater from the bottom of the pile, and then when they bring it up to the register all they have is a $50 bill and you have to go dig change out of the safe.
At the end of that busy Saturday, you’re exhausted but now you have to clean the store up and count all that cash to close out your register. Then you have to go to the bank to make a deposit. It’s all quite annoying.
Never fear, harried shop owner. I’ve compiled six ways in which you can lose customers once and for all.
1. Hide your business.
Lease a space in the very back of the parking lot, preferably with an entrance in the alley. If you absolutely must place a sign over your door, design a tiny vinyl banner in dark colors with curlicue, cursive writing that no one can decipher. Do not place signs of any kind near the road. If they can’t find you, they can’t bug you.
2. Encourage employees to text while helping customers.
Your employees have important social lives and it’s high time that customers understood that fact. Certainly you can’t expect your clerks to drop everything to answer a customer’s question. However, it is bad manners for an employee to talk on her cell phone, ignoring everything else. Instead, let her know that texting is the perfect solution. That way she won’t miss out on the latest gossip and the customer will sort of get some help.
3. Stop picking up after customers.
There’s nothing worse than a customer that goes into a dressing room with an armful of clothes and only decides to buy half of it, leaving the other half in a heap on the dressing room floor. Were these people raised in a barn? The best way to get customers to clean up after themselves is to stop picking up after them. Once the piles of discarded clothes get deep enough, customers will get the hint.
4. Get rid of at least half of your employees.
Customers tend to get spoiled when there are too many people around to help them. They become utterly worthless. What, they can’t look through the store to see if there’s a nice skirt to match the blouse they’ve found? Are they blind? This must stop. Make sure there is never more than one employee in the shop at any given moment (and it’s helpful if she’s busily texting with her friends so that she appears unapproachable). Perhaps customers will start taking the initiative to find their own darn skirts.
5. Don’t get a website.
That new-fangled technology stuff is for the birds. Why, when you were a girl there wasn’t any World Wide Web and you managed to find merchandise just fine. It’s way too much work to build and maintain a website and you certainly aren’t going to pay someone to do it for you. If customers search for you online and you aren’t there, they might find another business to visit, which makes your day a whole lot quieter.
6. Focus on your own needs.
You’ve heard the advice to put yourself first? Well, it’s high time you took it. Customers might think they need availability to the latest fashion trends and the largest amount of inventory possible. But you need to be able to easily place orders for merchandise without having to do tons of research to find out what’s new. And large inventories? Well, that just means even more time and effort spent on marketing to get rid of all that stuff. No thank you. Instead, do things your way. Then you’ll have plenty of time to book a manicure and massage. In fact, close the store early and head off to the spa. You’re worth it.
These tips are all guaranteed to help you get rid of annoying customers so that you can enjoy a nice, quiet store free of distractions. Now get busy and expect to be out of business by Christmas!