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  # 803479 22-Apr-2013 09:41
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One of the things I enjoy is starting a thread that sparks a active and lively debate.

A lot of people shop on price or think that is what they are doing, the same as shopping on service. There is a lot of psychology that can be applied to shopping and over the years I have observed some fascinating traits that end in a sale.

I also constantly witness situations that lose sales for business due to lack of application of psychology. 

One of the issues that has been bought up here is customer service. But is that relevant in this day and age. When I want to buy a product of any significant value I research it on the net. I then decide do I need to "touch and feel" this product to make a decision. If so I will go to a venue where I can do that Now 9 times out of 10 I dont need to do that but if i do there is a good chance I will research the price beforehand and if i decide that item is what i want I will then try and negotiate the online price with the store to match I subtract fright and the add the convince of getting the item straight away as well as the pleasure in instant ownership. 

The salesperson in the average shop is created by management these days. If the HR and training are doing there job they are pretty much just spouting the company line. Also they are paid peanuts for what they do. So we really cant expect to walk into a Noel Leemings and expect someone with a computer degree to be serving us. The best you can hope for is a young kid who is between things who thinks its cool to talk about computers all day. Until he realises that there is more to life and moves on.

Now I should state that my buying process is governed a lot by my situation (semi retired) I have the time to fluff around like this. My buying process in the past whilst employed was diffrent as i dint have the time

What I am saying is there are a multitude of factors involved not just price or the perception of the best price

Rabbited on there a bit must get on I hope some sense can be gleaned form that




Is an English Man living in New Zealand. Not a writer, an Observer he says. Graham is a seasoned 'traveler" with his sometimes arrogant, but honest opinion on life. He loves the Internet!.

 

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  # 803498 22-Apr-2013 09:59
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networkn:
Well it was directed primarily at you actually. You didn't state anything related to your income, you made a general comment about customer loyalty being long gone (and inferred yourself in that group). Thankfully for those of us who can't/won't compete on price alone, there are customers who don't mind spending extra if it means they get quality friendly knowledgeable service (Including after the sales are made).





If you can afford to pay extra for friendly service then that is fine but why call other people selfish?  

I don't get why it is selfish to buy on price. 

 
 
 
 


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  # 803504 22-Apr-2013 10:06
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gnfb1234: One of the things I enjoy is starting a thread that sparks a active and lively debate.

A lot of people shop on price or think that is what they are doing, the same as shopping on service. There is a lot of psychology that can be applied to shopping and over the years I have observed some fascinating traits that end in a sale.

I also constantly witness situations that lose sales for business due to lack of application of psychology. 

One of the issues that has been bought up here is customer service. But is that relevant in this day and age. When I want to buy a product of any significant value I research it on the net. I then decide do I need to "touch and feel" this product to make a decision. If so I will go to a venue where I can do that Now 9 times out of 10 I dont need to do that but if i do there is a good chance I will research the price beforehand and if i decide that item is what i want I will then try and negotiate the online price with the store to match I subtract fright and the add the convince of getting the item straight away as well as the pleasure in instant ownership. 

The salesperson in the average shop is created by management these days. If the HR and training are doing there job they are pretty much just spouting the company line. Also they are paid peanuts for what they do. So we really cant expect to walk into a Noel Leemings and expect someone with a computer degree to be serving us. The best you can hope for is a young kid who is between things who thinks its cool to talk about computers all day. Until he realises that there is more to life and moves on.

Now I should state that my buying process is governed a lot by my situation (semi retired) I have the time to fluff around like this. My buying process in the past whilst employed was diffrent as i dint have the time

What I am saying is there are a multitude of factors involved not just price or the perception of the best price

Rabbited on there a bit must get on I hope some sense can be gleaned form that


Note that I am not being picky, but... you buy on price, but you might use the physical store for a look see. Having your cake and eating it too?  :-)

At some point with this shopping evolvement, the stores will drop away, the in store range will drop away, and 99% might be online. Interesting to see over the next few years

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  # 803511 22-Apr-2013 10:09
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Note that I am not being picky, but... you buy on price, but you might use the physical store for a look see. Having your cake and eating it too?  :-)

At some point with this shopping evolvement, the stores will drop away, the in store range will drop away, and 99% might be online. Interesting to see over the next few years


One thing that used to bother me when the company I worked for before my own, was we sold retail in the weekends and people would come in, spend an hour getting a full rundown talk about options etc etc, and then go elsewhere to save $10-50 on a 3K purchase, really stings when that happens. 

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  # 803535 22-Apr-2013 10:21
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Nail on the head.
Retailers know they're in a race to the bottom with the 'lowest price at all costs' approach.
But if they take their foot off the gas, then their lifelines (targeted rebate levels / turnover) etc will dry up... and we will get what has happened before. They will go bust.
Dick Smith's new owners are no doubt seeking a boost in margins, hence their current 'no price match / no discounting without management approval' approach. However, as it has been noted, they are becoming less and less prominent.

Yes, there will be fewer retailers soon. Yes ranges of TV's and laptops in stores will decrease... but of course that's going to happen. TV's will be in lower demand due to the analogue switch off finishing at the end of 2013, computers will be the same, as many people move to the sub-$1000 tablet market etc.
However, switched on businesses are diversifying into whiteware / furniture etc, as there is still money to be made. You'd be stunned to know just how little your local Smiths City pays for one of their pine coffee tables... it's certainly more profitable than TV's. And that's why, every time I walk into one of their stores, I see the guys who used to sell tellies, now hanging out by the couches!

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  # 803536 22-Apr-2013 10:22
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gnfb1234: One of the things I enjoy is starting a thread that sparks a active and lively debate.

A lot of people shop on price or think that is what they are doing, the same as shopping on service. There is a lot of psychology that can be applied to shopping and over the years I have observed some fascinating traits that end in a sale.

I also constantly witness situations that lose sales for business due to lack of application of psychology. 

One of the issues that has been bought up here is customer service. But is that relevant in this day and age. When I want to buy a product of any significant value I research it on the net. I then decide do I need to "touch and feel" this product to make a decision. If so I will go to a venue where I can do that Now 9 times out of 10 I dont need to do that but if i do there is a good chance I will research the price beforehand and if i decide that item is what i want I will then try and negotiate the online price with the store to match I subtract fright and the add the convince of getting the item straight away as well as the pleasure in instant ownership. 

The salesperson in the average shop is created by management these days. If the HR and training are doing there job they are pretty much just spouting the company line. Also they are paid peanuts for what they do. So we really cant expect to walk into a Noel Leemings and expect someone with a computer degree to be serving us. The best you can hope for is a young kid who is between things who thinks its cool to talk about computers all day. Until he realises that there is more to life and moves on.

Now I should state that my buying process is governed a lot by my situation (semi retired) I have the time to fluff around like this. My buying process in the past whilst employed was diffrent as i dint have the time

What I am saying is there are a multitude of factors involved not just price or the perception of the best price

Rabbited on there a bit must get on I hope some sense can be gleaned form that



Being a manager in a department a big box retailer that specialises in big ticket items I must say I agree with most of this.

I try and run things a tad different my team is very passionate about the product they sell as am I. We do hours of research into every aspect of the product I have not had anyone come in for some time that knows more about the product than myself.

Some industries are easier to compete in than others Heat pumps for eg we are one of the cheapest stores the region however its virtually impossible to know 100% of the time that we are the cheapest. My staff and I regularly check the price that others have and we always try and remain under it. 

When I go out and do my own shopping some staff at other retailers do tend to sadden me that I can do half an hours research on the internet and know more than most sales people in big ticket stores. If there is a minimal difference between 2 retailers on price I would generally go with the better service.



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  # 803566 22-Apr-2013 10:39
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Last reply for awhile I have house work to do!
Maybe also a bit of track and aimed more at reatillers

Maybe its time for the pendulum to swing back as it seems to with a lot of things

Points to consider we all know them but worth rembering

You dont sell the sausgae you sell the sizzle

NO ONE walks into a shop just to browse

Saying "May I help you" 90% of the time will get the reply "Just looking" (see previous comment)

Customers have a need to buy something not a need to spend money

Sell the product not the Price

Ok time to do housework!!




Is an English Man living in New Zealand. Not a writer, an Observer he says. Graham is a seasoned 'traveler" with his sometimes arrogant, but honest opinion on life. He loves the Internet!.

 

gnfb on trademe

Email Me


 
 
 
 


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  # 803591 22-Apr-2013 11:09
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Well after reading all this I actually agree most people are after a good price on a good product. However I see some comments saying things like good service costs.....what exactly does it cost for you to hire staff who will take a interest in the product your selling or take time to learn about them (whether the employer enforces they do this is dependant on each employer).

Training for good customer service should cost you nothing if you get the right staff or staff who are interested in being the right staff.

Iwalk into a store generally with a interest to buy. Price is important to me as is customer service. I do not and never have (that I can think of) walked in to a store to buy a product based on after sales service. I go to buy a product and expect that the retailer can and will be able to sell me a product that works. I do not buy or want a extended warranty I want my product work it is that simple.

A company needs to compete on price and provide good service. The latter is a given as some people have already pointed out although price is important for some people it simply is not the be all and end all. Personally for me it pretty much is down to that give me good service I will spend a little more. Would I be better off online saving $$$ that I can spend on my family yes and I often do. But for the life of me can we please stop saying good service costs more as it doesn't.

After sales service is and always should be factored into the cost of running every business as although in a ideal world we buy a product and it works for it's expected life span but it doesn't and that's just something alll companies have to figure in whether they're online or a physical store.

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  # 803595 22-Apr-2013 11:11
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jtbthatsme: Well after reading all this I actually agree most people are after a good price on a good product. However I see some comments saying things like good service costs.....what exactly does it cost for you to hire staff who will take a interest in the product your selling or take time to learn about them (whether the employer enforces they do this is dependant on each employer).

Training for good customer service should cost you nothing if you get the right staff or staff who are interested in being the right staff.

Iwalk into a store generally with a interest to buy. Price is important to me as is customer service. I do not and never have (that I can think of) walked in to a store to buy a product based on after sales service. I go to buy a product and expect that the retailer can and will be able to sell me a product that works. I do not buy or want a extended warranty I want my product work it is that simple.

A company needs to compete on price and provide good service. The latter is a given as some people have already pointed out although price is important for some people it simply is not the be all and end all. Personally for me it pretty much is down to that give me good service I will spend a little more. Would I be better off online saving $$$ that I can spend on my family yes and I often do. But for the life of me can we please stop saying good service costs more as it doesn't.

After sales service is and always should be factored into the cost of running every business as although in a ideal world we buy a product and it works for it's expected life span but it doesn't and that's just something alll companies have to figure in whether they're online or a physical store.


Uh What? Training costs nothing? Hiring better people costs no more than hiring minimum wage people who have a passing interest in working? Having the correct number of staff so you can promptly deal with customer issues and make sure orders go on time etc.. 

If you are prepared to come to my office and train my staff for free, then I'd gladly see your resumé


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  # 803603 22-Apr-2013 11:21
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jtbthatsme: Well after reading all this I actually agree most people are after a good price on a good product. However I see some comments saying things like good service costs.....what exactly does it cost for you to hire staff who will take a interest in the product your selling or take time to learn about them (whether the employer enforces they do this is dependant on each employer).

Training for good customer service should cost you nothing if you get the right staff or staff who are interested in being the right staff.

Iwalk into a store generally with a interest to buy. Price is important to me as is customer service. I do not and never have (that I can think of) walked in to a store to buy a product based on after sales service. I go to buy a product and expect that the retailer can and will be able to sell me a product that works. I do not buy or want a extended warranty I want my product work it is that simple.

A company needs to compete on price and provide good service. The latter is a given as some people have already pointed out although price is important for some people it simply is not the be all and end all. Personally for me it pretty much is down to that give me good service I will spend a little more. Would I be better off online saving $$$ that I can spend on my family yes and I often do. But for the life of me can we please stop saying good service costs more as it doesn't.

After sales service is and always should be factored into the cost of running every business as although in a ideal world we buy a product and it works for it's expected life span but it doesn't and that's just something alll companies have to figure in whether they're online or a physical store.


I agree

But, and its big but, the cost of selling a product in a store is much more than online. Bricks and mortar has a lot of costs that go with that, staff being one of them. An online store has a big advantage in fixed and variable costs. So they are or should be cheaper. Thats the conundrum. Reduced store sales in favour of online hurts, the result is lower profit, needs to reduce costs, cycle goes on. We are in transiiton. Results of this transition ios businesses going bust, lesser choice for physical shoppers, a need for shoppers to accept that they do not need to see products. Not everyone yet has that mindset

One option is to be a courier business!


 

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  # 803614 22-Apr-2013 11:31
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I think it's very tricky for retailers. If someone asks you to price match, and that price is below cost (or what the sales person sees as the cost price on their system, which usually doesn't include rebates) then why would they want to sell it? Especially if it's a item they don't have many in stock of, when someone might come along in an hour and buy it for full price, with accessories too.

On the other hand, if you make the sale and provide great service, maybe they'll come back to you when they want to buy something else and you'll make the money back then. But that's a big bet, especially when the only impression you have of the customer is that they shop around for the best price.

Different companies have different cost prices, based on how many they order, what date they ordered them and such. I think some but not all customers understand that.

It really is a race to the bottom in many areas, even manufacturers are joining in. For example many of the 2012/2013 Samsung TV's had a lot less inputs, weren't as thin etc as the 2011/2012 models. Now some of the Panasonic's in the 2013/2014 range have reduced some features to save money.

I work in retail myself, and try to give great service. For example if someone buys an iPad and a screen protector from me, I'll put the screen protector on for them. Many people love that. I also go through and setup a new cellphone for a customer if they'd like, and other things like that. But with the race to the bottom meaning stores have to run leaner, which means less staff, that makes such things much harder to do.

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  # 803620 22-Apr-2013 11:39
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LostBoyNZ: I think it's very tricky for retailers. If someone asks you to price match, and that price is below cost (or what the sales person sees as the cost price on their system, which usually doesn't include rebates) then why would they want to sell it? Especially if it's a item they don't have many in stock of, when someone might come along in an hour and buy it for full price, with accessories too.

On the other hand, if you make the sale and provide great service, maybe they'll come back to you when they want to buy something else and you'll make the money back then. But that's a big bet, especially when the only impression you have of the customer is that they shop around for the best price.

Different companies have different cost prices, based on how many they order, what date they ordered them and such. I think some but not all customers understand that.

It really is a race to the bottom in many areas, even manufacturers are joining in. For example many of the 2012/2013 Samsung TV's had a lot less inputs, weren't as thin etc as the 2011/2012 models. Now some of the Panasonic's in the 2013/2014 range have reduced some features to save money.

I work in retail myself, and try to give great service. For example if someone buys an iPad and a screen protector from me, I'll put the screen protector on for them. Many people love that. I also go through and setup a new cellphone for a customer if they'd like, and other things like that. But with the race to the bottom meaning stores have to run leaner, which means less staff, that makes such things much harder to do.


Leaner, needs to be. less staff, cheaper staff, try to get them customer friendly. Trim premises costs. All helps, but no solution. Added Value = Service, what we dont have here we will get, loyalty based on past spend, but its hard to compete if price is much lower. Perhaps get an online presence to hedge against the competition, although that still feeds the need to trim the bricks and mortar

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  # 803622 22-Apr-2013 11:47
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JB Hifi is pretty good at price matching if they can, but I doubt they will go below cost.

For me, I'll pay around a 10% premium to buy something in store. Generally I've done my research on a product and I'll either go into the store to buy it or to try it out before buying in the store.

Once I've made up my mind about buying something, I'm pretty impatient (especially for a new geek toy) and even a day or a few days wait for the courier isn't worth a ~10% discount for buying online.

If it's more than that however, I may be swayed to buying online.




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  # 803632 22-Apr-2013 12:05
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networkn: Uh What? Training costs nothing? Hiring better people costs no more than hiring minimum wage people who have a passing interest in working? Having the correct number of staff so you can promptly deal with customer issues and make sure orders go on time etc.. 

If you are prepared to come to my office and train my staff for free, then I'd gladly see your resumé



Sorry but I disagree with half of that (the training costs nothing certainly not saying that).  Do you not ask a potential employee their interests before hiring them, can you not tell the difference between someone who is interested in your business and or your products???  Why would anyone in business hire a staff member who has no real interest in what they are doing for your business.

Using DSE as a example I would not hire someone to work there who came in to the interview and when asked the above replied something like...Well I love cricket, play for my local club, region and have been told I may have a good chance of making National rep.  I'm not really into electronics but need the pay check to tie me over until I can find out if I am going to get a contract with NZ Cricket.

Now if someone came in for a intereview said they'd taken computing in school, love tech and are passionate about the idea of working closely with it.  I would be more inclined to take them over the other applicant.

It is things like that are obvious when you walk in.  Most tech based stores are running on some form of commision whether there's a retainer, a full wage or full commision so if you walk in (to DSE) and ask someone (for a real life example) where can I find the dual layered blank dvd's I would expect every and any staff member to be able to take me there or point me in the right direction.  To have a staff member give you a blank stare and say I don't know what they are sorry and then walk off is ridiculous.

You do not put a baker into tech support, you get staff who are actually suited (or you hope will be) suited for what you are looking for.  If running a tech business get staff interested in tech.  That does not cost you as the employer anything other than being observant.  There is no need for hiring better staff it's about hiring the right staff.  Of course there will be training costs and physical stores cost more but good customer service shouldn't be something that you use as a excuse to bump up the price.  A commision based salesperson often relies on the sale or the upsell so actually taking time to listen to a customers needs and doing your best to actually meet them is the #1 priority as it's those things that will help your physical store get a sale for a product you can find online at a price that is often a lot less than what they could offer you in a physical store.

This is what I meant if that was not overly obvious.

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  # 803717 22-Apr-2013 14:22
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Its costs a lot to hire and train new staff if you do not pay well enough (sub $15 per hour) the staff member is likely to move on much faster (generally a few months). Have a lowish 14-15 per hour starting rate once the staff member proves themselves/excels pay them accordingly.
This does depend on the industry they are in of course. Some retail jobs are easier than others.

Low staff pay in retail is the one of the main contributing factors of poor service.  

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