Being in marketing and particularly being in retail industry makes me slightly aware of how in-store experience means for customers.
Today I just experienced a terrible in-store service in the Aldo store, in Langham Place, Hong Kong.
I fell in love these shoes by walking up the escalators 2 – 3 times a week on my way up to 7am Yoga. The advertising visual intrigued me. So finally, I made up my mind to go to the store when it’s actually open (it’s closed before 7am every time i walked by).
When I went into the store. It was slightly packed with about 8 patrons around, a few tourists from mainland of course. I walked in. No one greeted me. I needed to approach to the sales assistant to seek help. I asked her nicely if could try on the advertising model at size 36. Her face went blank for a split second and she replied. Sorry, it’s not available in store. So i was like, “what’s the style number of the shoes?” She went “We don’t have this style.” I went “Could I have the item number so it’s easier for me to check online? Or could you check if the shoes are available in other stores in Hong Kong?” And then the colleague of hers came in ” No, we can’t check the availability of other stores in Hong Kong. And we can’t check for you online either.” Really????
They just couldn’t wait to shovel me out of the store. So frustrating.
Here’s my take on how they failed a big time
Sin 1: Not carrying the advertising style in store!!!!! How can you not carry it? If it’s sold out, let customers know.
Sin 2: No greeting to customers when they come in store
Sin 3: Not pro-actively trying to approach a customers to help (I needed to get her attention and asked for help)
Sin 4: Not knowing the products that was in the advertisement. They didn’t even know the sku (item number) not even trying to get it for a customers upon request
Sin 5: Missed the cross-selling opportunity a big time. When a customer walks in your store and asked for a style, he/she must be very interested and is in the mood of purchase. If the product she/he’s interested in is not available, recommend a similar style!!! As simple as that!
Sin 6: The unhelpfulness of the sales assistant is totally a big turn off. I’m not going to the Aldo store any more. Once a lost customer, always a loss.
To the great contrary, I received a totally different treatment in Venilla Suite.
1. I was greeted with warm welcome
2. The sales assistant offered me help without me asking
3. When I tried on the shoes and found it a bit tight and deciding on whether or not to go a size bigger. The sales person offered advice that the length of the shoes fitted me but it’s just the front part is tight which can be larger by a procedure that should take 3-4 minutes.
4. While I was waiting for my shoes, the sales told me about the discount that if I buy two items at the same time I would enjoy 15% discount on both items.
5. I asked for another shoes in my size to try on. The sales came back with 3 different shoes that are similar in style. He also told me the features of the shoes, one was made of super soft leather and he showed me by folding the shoes in front of me and the second one, the explained the design details and backed with a trend.
6. He also mentioned the membership and told me the benefits.
What I bought instead?
Seriously, that makes the difference! The in-store experience can be very much boosted up by proper training and appropriate incentive programs.
I still can’t find the Aldo shoes I want with a few different search queries on Google.
Where would I buy my shoes again? Not Aldo, at least not in store.