GETTING MORE TALE #759: Talk, Talk
I was browsing local news stories, and one came up that had me choking on my coffee a little bit.
It was an interview with the owner of the old Record Store, who had opened up a new location. In the interests of keeping everyone anonymous, I’ll paraphrase instead of quoting the portion that had me shocked and annoyed.
“We want to appeal to the hardcore music fan, the kind that just want to come in and talk about and listen to music. Hopefully one day we can have chairs and make it a hangout atmosphere.”
Sounds good. Sounds a bit like Sonic Boom in Toronto. Nothing wrong with that. Except it contradicts the very first lesson he taught me at the Record Store! In Getting More Tale #575, I described a scenario where he set me up, in order to teach me something valuable about customer service.
He knowingly asked me to go help an annoying, very talky lady. After a chat that lasted longer than I care to remember, he said to me “That’s your first lesson. Don’t get into conversations with customers.”
I realise that times change, and with them so do business strategies. I’m sure somebody will say, “Well that was different.” I can’t help but think of all the times I got scolded or received dirty looks for talking “too much” about music with customers. The impression I got was they would have preferred an impersonal assembly line. Serve the customer, plug the CD wipes for $5.99, get the sale, and move on to the next one. Don’t encourage extended conversation. The handful of customers I created relationships with ended up being long-termers, however. My dad tells me I have the gift of gab like my grandfather. My regulars enjoyed our chats, though the bosses didn’t.
Now he’s talking about making conversation a main feature of the store. Does that mean he was wrong and I was right all along?