A tale of two attitudes:
9:30am, 30 minutes before the store opens, about 3 weeks ago. I’m at a desk in the front of the store doing work, but forgot to re-lock one of the doors. A customer barged in, not checking the store hours, which was not his fault since the door was unlocked. Walked straight to the belt rack without acknowledging my existence, even though I greeted him. Found his waist size on the rack, looked at some prices which were $65-$95, and started to walk briskly for the exit. I asked if he needed help with a belt to which he said, "Not for $65", and stormed out.
2pm today. Customer looks over belts at the belt rack, and turns to head out. I asked if he needed any help, and he said, "Well, I had to come to the City to drop my wife off at an appointment and I forgot to wear a belt. I have a bunch of belts at home, but I can’t stand my jeans falling." I found the Martin Dingman Matt Belt in his size, which sells for $65 and is great for jeans. I asked, "Would you give me $45 for this?" His eyes lit up, and he bought the belt. I would bet $45 is slightly more than he wanted to pay, but he recognized I was trying to help him out, and it was a good deal, and we turned a belt, so everyone won.
What the customer today didn’t know is that immediately after the first interaction, I began thinking: what should I have said to him? Should we keep a ball of twine in the store for customers that don’t want a reasonably priced, all-leather, made-in-the-USA belt? Maybe duct tape? In my head, I settled on, "I’d have sold it to you for less if you treated me like a human being." And the reality is, I would have. I’m sure he probably thought I was an underpaid, under-educated retail cashier, but that is only half-true. If he’d have told me a story, he’d have walked out a happy customer.