Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yarn Shop Service '101'

Visiting as many yarn shops in as few days as I did while vacationing in British Columbia, made it easy to do a service comparison.

And in the interest of improving yarn shop service everywhere, I give you this.
The only-partially, tongue-in-cheek, Service '101' Workshop.

You will notice that I have dragged you all into the fray, by using the pronoun 'we'. My theory being that we are all customers of service, every day.

Perhaps, I should include you even more. What is your best "Bad Service In A Yarn Shop" story? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.

For Yarn Shop Clerks Everywhere.
Service '101'

1. When we enter your store, greet us. It's not hard. Two letters. One syllable. "Hi".
Said with a smile.

2. If you are on the telephone, when we come into your store, HANG UP!

3. If you are on the telephone, when we come into your store and your call is s 0 0 0 0 important that you can't hang up, at least look us in the eye, smile and give us the universally-recognized, 'I acknowledge you' nod of the head. Then, HANG UP!

4. Introduce us to your store. You and your store are familiar with each other. You see each other every day. But us, we're new here. The amount of colour and texture can be overwhelming. So, introduce us to your store. Tell us where the DK is kept. Where is the knitting worsted, the chunky, the sock yarn? Where are the books and magazines? How are the patterns organized? Be a good host. Make us feel at home.

5. SHUT UP! You and your co-worker can talk about kids, husbands, boyfriends, recipes, -whatever- between customers. While we are in the store, talk to us, or not at all.

6. SHUT UP! Don't tell us your life's story. We're sorry about your luck and/or happy for your good fortunes. But, if it isn't about yarn or knitting, then SHUT UP! When you're talking,
we can't think. When we can't think, we can't buy.

7. Make it easy for us to buy. Do you have a web site? Can we shop from home? Do you ship across country? (To every clerk I met, in every yarn shop I visited, I told my story of coming from Ontario to B.C. with a list of must-see yarn stores. But, it wasn't until I got to store # 5
-Mad About Ewe, in Nanaimo - that they offered to ship to me, back home. Guess what? I took their card.)

8. If you don't have it, tell us where we might find it. You can't lose a sale if you don't carry the product anyway. So give us a heads up on where to look. (Fun Knits, on Quadra Island was the 7th store I visited, but the first - and only - to recommend other yarn stores to us.)

It would be nice from a writers perspective to have 10 of these tips. But 8 it is.

My final observation is that a yarn store with good stock and good service could go far.

What are your stories?

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