What I learned about blogging while shopping at American Greetings

     It’s Mother’s Day weekend, so of course that finds me buying a card on the busiest day for it.  My wife was off to buy some clothes while I shopped for her card.  At her suggestion, I chose the American Greetings store.

     Right away I spotted the perfect extra to go with the card, long stemmed crafted flowers.  Picking those up, I also quickly found the perfect card.  One of my best shopping experiences at a card store. This particular store, though small, is well used by us, so I wasn’t surprised at this. What surprised me was the counter experience.

     The young lady behind the counter took the flowers and the card and began ringing them up.  Still things are fine at this point, but then a 2nd counter person takes her place, and she ran off to the back of the store for something urgent.  I’m still good though, as the new clerk finishes ringing me up, and mentions a discount.

     I told her thank you and then went to use the credit card machine. It was hung up. It showed a total but not the one matching what she’d just said, and the credit/debit click spots weren’t working.  We agreed I’d just let her scan the card behind the counter, and I handed it over.  She decided to check the total first.  That’s when it suddenly went down hill.

     The manager showed and um, how should I say this, ‘took over.’  She took my credit card from the other lady and chastised her, and rudely took over at the register.  The manager proclaimed she’d have to re-ring the whole thing and in a loud voice, declared to the clerk, “..if he’s going to argue about it, let’s do it over.”

     Talk about an oh my gosh experience. To watch her treat this other employee rudely was embarrassing for me and the employee, but to be spoken of in the third person and have it stated I was arguing, was almost too much.  Had they not had my intended purchase behind the counter, I’d have walked out immediately.

     I then mentioned to the manager that things were fine and that I had not argued with the clerk.  She uttered something about having re-ring and had the clerk help her ring the items.  The manager then explained to me how she was going ring the flowers and proceeded to do so.  To wrap up the effort, she grabs a stray sticker off the counter, and was about to ring it up for me too.  She then asked if it was mine. It took me a moment to realize what she’d done and was asking, and to add to the confusion, she asked me a few times repeatedly if this was mine.

     Once I realized what it was, I told her no. She completed ringing it out and read me the total.  It was the same as the previous total.  Again the card reader was hung. I showed her the reader.  Her response? A quick lecture about how they couldn’t reboot the reader until there were no more customers, and appeared to shrug and sigh at that, before asking me for my card again.

     I took my receipt from her, signed the slip and left.  And so here we are.  To the lessons learned during my visit to American Greetings.

  • Don’t treat us impersonally or talk about us, we will remember it
  • Don’t treat others rudely, we are empathetic and will feel like you did it to us
  • Your image isn’t what you sell, it’s how you sell it
  • If things don’t work right, it isn’t our fault, and don’t make us feel like it is
  • Overall the experience we have should be one that welcomes us back again

     Though not profound, these are key to how you run a blog or a business.  I find I forget about the overall experience at times.  If I want readers back, they need to feel welcome to be here.

     What have your shopping experiences taught you about blogging or running your own business? How would this experience have affected you? Would you shop there again with other choices?  Share with us.

((* the image is by merfam, and is licensed through Creative Commons))

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