The shop assistant at the counter quoted the price as Rs. 1200/- for the 3rd time and it was pissing me off. I had talked to sales person and they had given me a quote of Rs. 1000/- and I was buying the shoe at that price. This counter guy was telling me that the sales person had miscalculated the discount and the original price. For me that was a bad deal and my decision to purchase was based on the final price not the miscalculated price or the extra money I was going to pay.
So here is the whole story. I went in to this shoe shop which was offering a flat 40% discount. I love buying during sales. Usually I do end up getting good discounts. So what if the inventory is a little low on choices. Anyways, I decided on a shoe and asked the sales person what the final price was and he looked at the price tag and calculated the price and told me Rs. 1000/-. I was ecstatic. It was a good deal and I bought it. The shoe was taken to the counter and suddenly the counter assistant announced that the price was Rs. 1200/-.
I go into audit mode and look for chains of fraud and embezzlement when such announcements are made. But this was a small purchase and it was highly possible that the price was miscalculated. But the shop has some duty towards me as a customer, rather than me having sympathy towards their ill-informed staff.
1. Initially they needed to give out the right information to make the sale. Being ill-informed and quoting 2 prices reflects badly on the management.
2. Once quoted, even a lower price should be adhered to. It is not about maintaining pricing strategy but customer loyalty.
3. Being stubborn and pushing a higher quote creates a negative impression in the customer’s mind. It is not about paying extra; it is about an impression about business ethics being created and losing the customer to one sale.
4. Usually naive sales staff tends to assume one bad experience is not a big deal. The next sale can always recover money. It definitely can be made from many sales. But one bad experience on the customer’s part is 50 people listening to negative word of mouth.
5. Make shopping even for the slightest thing memorable. I still remember buying shoes from old shops where haggling was a common occurrence. But I struggle to recall any memorable experience of shops that are more recent.
Robotic systems have taken over the art of the art of selling. We do have computerized systems to handle the sale but the human experience still needs to be rendered and made memorable. So what did I end up paying – 1200 or 1000? Neither actually. I ended up leaving the shop and writing this post. 🙂