Miriam Gomberg

Invisible Shopping Experience; How to Lose Customers

When I look into the mirror, I see my reflection which tells me I am visible to the naked eye. The inner monologuegoes like, “Yup, here I am.”

The invisible shopper

I don’t possess any magical skills that render me invisible. Admittedly, there are times I wish I were invisible just so I could do pranks on people. I wouldn’t worry about what to wear or what my hair looked like. Do I have lipstick on my teeth? You get the picture.

Why do I feel invisible?

Now that I have firmly established the fact that I am flesh and bone, lacking any magical transformation powers, I wonder how others cannot see me. I am 5’8″ brunette with a big smile and friendly disposition. I am pretty hard to miss.

Recently I went shopping (I know shocking, isn’t it?) for a few last minute items I needed for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas. I needed a pair or shoes (stop snickering) a cosmetics bag, and something new to wear.

The invisible shopper

The shopping expedition began at Victoria’s Secret, where I was completely ignored. Two associates were yakking at the cash register and were way to involved in conversation to notice me as I perused the store. Disappointingly, I left there empty-handed.

Next I wandered into Macy’s with the same effect. The difference was that I walked through 4 departments completely undetected. Hmm… I discovered a pattern that I had to investigate further.

Next came Dillard’s, Cache, then Target. Still invisible, I wondered if anyone would notice if I took all of my clothes off and shopped naked? At this rate, I felt there was a great chance, no one would look.

Take off the blinders and observe your customers!

I cannot lodge a complaint about one of these stores, because I was invisible to all of them. Everyone says that we have entered an era where consumers expect hyper-customer service. It looks as though the message was filed away with other nonsensical memos floating around.

What makes management believe this is OK? Obviously they must advocate ignoring potential customers. Leaders can claim they are unaware, but this is a weak excuse. Staff models behavior after their leadership team.

It’s time to love your customers up!

With countless choices where we shop, it is imperative that customers are acknowledged. I shop where I am valued, not ignored. It is true that the self-help era is ending in favor of a more service intense experience.

I still would like to be invisible just for the entertainment factor. Invisibility is not the goal when shopping. Share your stories of invisibility. How did you feel? How did you react?

This entry was published on May 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm. It’s filed under Customer Focus, Personal Brand and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Invisible Shopping Experience; How to Lose Customers

  1. Love this Miriam especially the sad face picture.. 🙂 I agree with you but you know what i dislike even more than being ignored? An employee walking in front of me to where i have to move or stop to not hit them.. I then not only feel invisible but disrespected as a customer. Do you have this happen? The will look right at you and walk into you barely missing you and you have to stop but they don’t miss a step. Really?? Not nice

    Anyway great post ttys

    Shauna

    • Shauna, the sad face picture was one I took on foursquare during the shopping trip. I was so bummed out that not even Hello Kitty would cheer me up. I agree with you about the walking in front of you thing too. When I am working, there are times I need to get someplace quickly to help an associate, but I do my best to either walk around customers so I don’t disturb them or at least to excuse myself when I must pass them. It is a courtesy many are lacking.

      Thanks for stopping by 😀 Miriam

  2. Sadly, this type of behavior costs businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue… Retraining of sales staff is key.

  3. It’s been a long while since I checked in… Yeah, the posts were arriving fast and furious from every part of the world till I had 3500 and I’ve been slowly digging myself out. What I’ve been doing lately to catch-up is liking all the posts in my folder, commenting on a few and starting afresh… TY for your patience. 🙂

  4. ღ˚ •。* ♥ ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* 。 ღ˛° 。* °♥ ˚ • ★ *˚ .ღ 。*˛˚ღ •˚ ˚…Sending sprinkles of Love to You: Happy Mother’s Day! ˚ ✰* ★˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚ღ。* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ★ღ ˚ 。✰ •* ˚ ♥

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