My wife and I decided to take an hour from our work day to get some ceiling fans for our house in a real store… Kentucky Lighting in Lexington. We are trying to buy locally a little more when it comes to house-items, especially heavier items like this. So we’ll give them a shot. We fully intended to buy while we were there. They have a terrific place. Easy to find, good location. It’s nicely laid out. Lots of parking, a big parts counter, huge selection, and seems well organized. Someone has put a lot of work into the place and it shows.
This is a profoundly rare event. The planets have to line up just right for it to happen, and it did. There we were, in a bricks and mortar store instead of a web browser or catalog, during the day, without kids, and we weren’t in a mad rush. We have two dying ceiling fans at home, and a room that needs one. We are the most perfect customers imaginable.
- We Walk through the door. <ding> Damn, look at all this stuff.
- Receptionist, on the phone, smiles. We begin looking. So far so good.
- After 45 seconds, she walks up. “Can I help you?”
- Me: “Yes thanks…We’re looking to buy three ceiling fans for our …..”<phone rings at her desk, now 20′ away>”…house, and we’d like….”
- Receptionist walks away to get phone while I’m talking. I fade off…“to get…some…..advice………”
- My wife and I exchange stunned glances while we watch her well-lit prance over to the desk.
- She’s now engaged on her phone call, which lasts 7-10 minutes. Was it Oprah? President Bush?
- Eventually she shows up again, saying she’ll go get someone.
They’re lucky we were there. I’ve mellowed with age, or I would have been out of that place. But my wife and I are there, we’re comfortable, together chatting, joking, and decide to hang out and make fun of the tacky lights.
The salesperson hands us catalogs and points us to the table. Says he’ll follow up in a few minutes. Never shows. 15, 20, 25 minutes pass. Ok. Time to hunt him down.
Kentucky Lighting Supply screwed up their first and third customer touch points. There was no process for dealing with customers in the sales showroom.
What should have happened as we entered is the receptionist should have acknowledged our presence and told us that she’d be right with us, locate a salesperson using her phone intercom or by walking over and fetching them, and then focus, laser-like on our needs until a salesperson was there – even if the phone is ringing off the hook. If the phone is really that busy, a roll-over system needs installed that rings a secondary person.
If people are at the catalog table, salespeople should swing by every 10 minutes or so, answering questions. It’s a good time to show your experience – point out some features, tell them about things to look for. If customers are the “hands off” type, tell them where you are and who to ask for. Just don’t “no-show.”
Once we went to find them, they did a great job putting together printouts from the web and writing prices on there for us. It was super helpful. There, at the end, they were doing a great job.
So, what could have been a hole-in-one for them turned into a “maybe.”
I guess we could be small potatoes. The fan purchase adds up to around a thousand bucks. Perhaps other customers spend more? Dunno.