No. That's ridiculous.

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I got a secret shopper report back on my desk the day after the shopper dropped in, and it turns out that I was the one evaluated this time around.

So looking through there, as per usual I've got high marks but have missed on two items that I'd want your input on:

- Did the associate offer a live phone in order for you to make a test call?

- Did the associate attempt to overcome your objections to purchasing today? Three times?




Let's cover the first one. When you buy a phone, you're just expecting it to work, right? We're no longer in the 80s where you call an associate so that you can both marvel over the quality and wonder of making a call, um, anywhere. Or whatever. So what's the purpose in giving a live phone, pre-purchase, for the purpose of making a test-call? If you buy a phone we'll be making a test call... I understand the concept of giving a phone to test out data features, but... a test call?


Secondly, overcoming objections. If posed right, I can totally do this. Bring up another company's plans, I research those. I can sell someone on the plans. Phone selection, features, an accessory; whatever. I can do it.

If the objection is "Oh, I need to go home and discuss this with my spouse" I'm not going to try to overcome that. That's true. You're going to sign a two year contract, for two or three phones ... hell yes your wife or husband should have input on what you finally decide on, since they're going to be using it. That's one or two additional people who may have other needs and you're making the decision for them. There is absolutely no sense in pressuring someone into a sale today if they're going to be bringing it back tomorrow. It wastes everyone time and it doesn't help the company's image, I don't feel.

Or I could just be a whiny uncouth individual.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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Not sure what test call means in your instance, but the phones don't always work in some areas, so the customer might bring it back. It's a moot point anyway since, at least on new activations, the customer has 30 days to cancel without penalty.

Was the report more specific than the info you gave us? Why would they say you objected to holding off the purchase if you didn't?
ukimalefu Canadized
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That's ridiculous
Tell management that smacks of 'hard sell' and they'll ultimately lose customers if they really want you to push that hard.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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So they want him to push for an immediate sale? Ok, now it makes sense.
juice Inadvertently correct
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I don't mind a sales person attempting to overcome objections I have in an attempt to close a sale. To a point. As a sales rep myself, I understand that's part of the job. As long as it doesn't seem like they are mentally checking it off a list they have to do and it is an honest attempt to make a deal, that's fine. But sometimes, no really does mean no, at least not at the moment.
Yup. If at the start of a conversation I make it super clear, and give a reason, why I absolutely can't purchase today (ie: can't without the input/presence/permission from this person), accept that and don't try to get me to buy right now.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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I actually had a car salesman turn his back on me when i made it clear i was only looking at cars and wouldn't be buying one that day. He literally turned his back on me. No 'see ya' or 'fiddlesticks you'. He just turned and walked away. I asked to see the sales manager and told him what happened and let him know when i was ready to buy, i wouldn't be buying from them, and i didn't.

A good cell phone salesman won't push to hard just to get an activation (and potential deactivation). He'll do his best so that the customer will return and ask for him and hope that he will also refer him to friends.
Mustapha Mond Daring to be stupid
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I don't go back to places where I encounter a hard sell. If I have questions, answer them and know what you're talking about. But don't start pretending like you know better than I do whether or not I should need or want something. And don't start bargaining, lowering the price and throwing in add-ons. That just makes me feel like any other time I come into your store I'm going to get ripped off.
:: fires Phy ::
justine wrote:
Not sure what test call means in your instance, but the phones don't always work in some areas, so the customer might bring it back. It's a moot point anyway since, at least on new activations, the customer has 30 days to cancel without penalty.


Oh, I totally get that. In this rural area it can really be hit or miss. They're wanting me to do a test-call in the store, though. On equipment that I have here (which, if it's not activated, I've got a phone that works for demoing data only, and my employee phones.) Where the phone works. It's given that it will.
MacAddict4Life wrote:
Yup. If at the start of a conversation I make it super clear, and give a reason, why I absolutely can't purchase today (ie: can't without the input/presence/permission from this person), accept that and don't try to get me to buy right now.


And I think that's my big issue with the whole thing. When you say "I have to check with my wife/husband" I chalk the whole thing up to an information gathering session. Something I'm more than happy to do since because I manage I'm not one of the ones that lives and dies by the numbers.

I guess the point I'm going to try to make is that the company that handles the secret shoppers needs to train their people to project issues that need to be overcame by the knowledge and customer service focus of the salesperson; not put the salesperson in any situation where they have to say "bah, you don't have to check with them; look, you have a 30 day service guarantee go ahead and buy now and if they don't like it then just bring it back". I'm starting to think that corporations don't really know how long a two year contract is.
obvs To hell with toilet paper. I own a bidet
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Really they just don't care.
A-heh, I think I'll use that info to my advantage next time. If a sales person pushes me I'll just say something like, "Let's both assume you said that to me three times and be done with it, OK?" ;)

Last edited by Kirk on Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:05 pm.

matt wrote:
Really they just don't care.


They're going to be rolling out a huge ad campaign focusing on "so what if we don't have the cheapest plans, the newest phones or more towers nationwide. We've got superior customer service!" They had better start caring.
obvs To hell with toilet paper. I own a bidet
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Why?

The public is incredibly gullible. Why do you think fast-food restaurants print "No trans-fat" all over their packaging? Not because most people care about trans-fat. Hell, most people couldn't tell you what trans-fat is, or else they'd throw away the margarine in their respective refrigerators. The marketers believe that people will read "No trans-fat" and think "no fat".

Or customer support. There's a reason why your ISP's technical support sounds like they just started learning English last week. It's all about bilking the customer out of their money. And people line up to spend their money on crappy-but-well-marketed products.
justine wrote:
I actually had a car salesman turn his back on me when i made it clear i was only looking at cars and wouldn't be buying one that day. He literally turned his back on me. No 'see ya' or 'fiddlesticks you'. He just turned and walked away. I asked to see the sales manager and told him what happened and let him know when i was ready to buy, i wouldn't be buying from them, and i didn't.

A good cell phone salesman won't push to hard just to get an activation (and potential deactivation). He'll do his best so that the customer will return and ask for him and hope that he will also refer him to friends.


That's interesting. When I was car shopping, I did things backwards. I wanted to know the good deal price I can get before I even test drive. A lot of places said "well, we can see what we can do when you're ready to buy," to which I replied "others have managed to see what they can do now, if you can't I won't be back." It seemed to work pretty well, most places got it that I won't be back if they don't start the deal cutting now, and correspondingly I had some pretty good deals fished out before I even test drove (I didn't want to get attached if I couldn't get a manageable price).
matt wrote:
Really they just don't care.


They care. They merely shake it like they just don't care.
Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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Phydeaux wrote:
Let's cover the first one. When you buy a phone, you're just expecting it to work, right? We're no longer in the 80s where you call an associate so that you can both marvel over the quality and wonder of making a call, um, anywhere. Or whatever. So what's the purpose in giving a live phone, pre-purchase, for the purpose of making a test-call? If you buy a phone we'll be making a test call... I understand the concept of giving a phone to test out data features, but... a test call?


Dude, I would love to make a test call with a phone I'm considering. The reason? I have trouble hearing voices, especially on phones (mild mid range deafness), and I want to know if I will be able to use the thing in a crowded space. I also want to know if the person on the other end will be thinking that I sound like I have my head in a bucket, how much ambient noise comes through, etc.

It's one of the reasons I didn't get an iPhone; it's not as good as my trusty v710 in a crowded room. It's also why I've had to return nearly every bluetooth headset I've gotten, including the Jawbone. It's a pain in the ass to return stuff, testing it on the spot would save me so much effort.

So yes, I want a test call. I've never been offered one, and from now on I'm going to insist on one.
gozer frenchie
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soon as i sense a hard sale i'm gone.

i'll pay more at a place that doesn't hard sell.
ukimalefu Canadized
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gozer wrote:
soon as i sense a hard sale i'm gone.

i'll pay more at a place that doesn't hard sell.

See how much information you're providing to us of the the unwashed masses, Phy? ;)

Oh, come on guys. If its a really hard sell and their price isn't anything special, I don't go back. However if I did a web search and they had the cheapest price with a decent service contract, I'd put up with it.
gozer frenchie
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no. i really wont kirk.

i payed $200 more for our wedding rings because the other 2 places were hard selling fuckholes.
gozer frenchie
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oh, and i've worked retail for the last 6 years. i know the damned drill.

fiddlesticks mystery shoppers.
Zapski wrote:


Dude, I would love to make a test call with a phone I'm considering. The reason? I have trouble hearing voices, especially on phones (mild mid range deafness), and I want to know if I will be able to use the thing in a crowded space.


See, if I'm told that, then I make arrangements for them to test earpiece loudness.

Quote:
I also want to know if the person on the other end will be thinking that I sound like I have my head in a bucket, how much ambient noise comes through, etc.


And that's well and good, but a secret shopper never specifically inquires about a model so that we can run through it for that purpose.

So while your reasoning is plausible and probably what the person at corporate is also thinking when approving these guidelines, they're obviously not training the SS.

Quote:
It's one of the reasons I didn't get an iPhone; it's not as good as my trusty v710 in a crowded room.


Last good phone Motorola made, I'm noticing.

Quote:
So yes, I want a test call. I've never been offered one, and from now on I'm going to insist on one.


Please do. It's easier to get something like that accomplished in order to meet the needs of the customer, rather than just doing a task blindly.
Zapski Gaze into my eyes...
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No. That's ridiculous.