There should be a law in South Africa that if you walk into a store and know exactly what you want, take it to the till and purchase it, NO commission should be paid to ANY salesperson. In fact the commission that should have gone to the salesperson should go to the customer as a form of a discount or a reward for purchasing from the store.
Why so harsh, you may ask?! Sales-people are sometimes annoying but they need an income as well, you may say. Yes, they do need an income, but like everyone else they should work for it.
I've been in sales my entire life, and been in various industries and have sold a wide variety of products, and it's hard-work where ever you go or whatever you trying to sell. What has been my success, is my customer service. I know if you don't buy from me today, you will come back eventually because I took the time to cater to your needs at the time, and this is what most sales people lack unfortunately.
I might be more critical than the average customer, but I am still a customer nonetheless, so I shouldn't be treated any different, unless that is how all customers are treated.
In the last two months the service I have received is quite appalling from stores that I have purchased from. Two such stores are Dion Wired and Coricraft. I love nice things, and usually they are expensive, but if I can afford it and think it's worth it I will get it. Now I'm not knocking any brands because believe me Dion Wired and Coricraft have great products, why else would I want to purchase from them, but their staff on the other hand, nothing to write home to mother about.
Let's start with Dion Wired. Just over a month ago I went to the Woodmead branch, I knew exactly what I wanted, 3TB Western Digital External Hard Drive. Went in, got it, and made my way to the till. A salesperson comes to the till writes his code on it, and obviously got commission from a sale he didn't even make. I had never seen the guy before nor would I see him again as he casually walked away once I purchased the item.
Maybe it was just the Woodmead branch I thought as I haven't had such luck with them before. Few days later I decided I wanted a MacBook Pro for my wife, so we went to the Dion Wired at Nicolway. After showing my wife why the MacBook Pro was far superior to the other brands and why it was good value for money (without a salesperson coming to assist), I called a salesperson to get me a MacBook Pro from the store room (for obvious reasons I wasn't allowed in the store room). He calmly went to get one and again wrote his code on the box and left. I'm sure the commission wasn't R10 and even if it was I don't think he deserved it. If he were a waiter he wouldn't get a large tip if he just brought me drinks and then left. No up-sell, no cross-sell, well actually there was no sell.
Needless to say I haven't bought any electronics since that day and most definitely won't be going to another Dion Wired.
Which brings us to Coricraft. I always admired their furniture but never bought anything and I think I know why. We in the process of looking for a new lounge suite and visited a few Coricraft stores. Our first experience was at the Northgate branch. Fortunately there was a salesperson who actually came to assist us. Unfortunately the couch that we liked did not come in leather and that was the end of the conversation. We weren't shown anything else. Few weeks later we passed by the Sandton City store and thought we will have a look at what they have. Very friendly salesperson showed us many couches and we were actually sold on the Titanic 2 Division. He prepared the quotation with the extra delivery fee and the cori-guard, and we were ready to pay, but I had to ask the dreaded question that every salesperson hates... How long will it take to be delivered? To which he replied, 6 - 10 weeks. That was the deal-breaker, and that was the end of Coricraft Sandton City.
Last week I was in Fourways Mall and passed by Coricraft and the same couch that we had seen 2 days before in Sandton City had suddenly been reduced by R1000 which the salesperson did not fail to mention and when I picked up a pamphlet it showed there was free lamp table which the salesperson at Fourways did not mention either. I asked her about the colours that she had available and she gave me swatches to take home to my wife so we could decide which colour we wanted. She had now told me that it would just take 10 working days to receive the couch. I do understand that maybe the one in Sandton might have needed to be made up, but the salesperson again did not give us any other options. Anyway, we decided on a colour and the next day I e-mailed the salesperson and it's now over a week and I am still waiting for a quotation so I can purchase this couch.
Subsequently, we passed another Coricraft a few days ago, now in Woodmead. I first went in, walked around the whole store, and not one salesperson came to assist. I walked out, went to fetch my wife and we went back in the second time, and again walked around the whole store and no one came to assist. In fact we even sat for a few minutes on the Breen Day Bed Lounge Suite as we were now considering purchasing that. Even with us sitting there and our child running around the store (that was empty, without any other customers), still no one came to assist, so we walked out.
Finally today I thought on my way home from Sandton I will pass by the Megastore in Kramerville. Now I knew exactly what I wanted and just needed to find out what colour was in stock so I could purchase it. We also fell in love with all the Cresthill products and the Jinga Shelf Unit and I was considering whether we should just do a full makeover of our home, but would see once I received the elusive quotation.
The Megastore is a lovely store, two-levels, with little apartments showcasing the products in the different rooms, and all the accessories and home decor finishings to go with it. Reminded me so much of Sevens in Fourways. I walked around the whole bottom floor then went upstairs, walked around, came down again, walked around again, taking my time looking at everything, checking out all the available fabric colours and leather textures. Once again no salesperson came to assist, and it was pretty hard for people not to notice me as I was the only guy in the store with a suit on and I walked passed the cashiers and even the salespeople but clearly I was invisible as not one even greeted me.
I eventually walked out after about 20 minutes in the store and thought why should I even bother spending my money at a store that clearly doesn't need my money, I'm sure there are plenty other furniture stores that would love the business.