Dear Scrapbook Store.
Don't lie to me.
Don't say you are ordering the new product, when what I asked if you had was not a new product.
Don't look at me like I am an un-informed customer who can't possibly know more than you about a scrapbook thing.
Don't lie to me.
In fact, I am an informed customer. I'm probably more well-informed than most of your customers. I ask for a specific brand and line of product because I want to buy it locally (or semi-locally, in this case). I've seen it online and if you force me too, I will buy it online, although I would like to buy it locally, even with a 9.25% sales tax and the soaring price of gasoline. I know what the name of the line is and I can describe it to you in detail, if you ask.
I can even tell you that no other stores in the area are carrying it. There's a hole in the market that you could fill.
Here's a quick lesson:
When a customer asks "Do you carry ___ company's ____ line?" don't immediately look like you are doubting the existence of said line. If you don't think you have it, say these words: "I don't think we have it. But we do have some product from that company. What does the ____ line look like?"
If customer says "It has blue and orange stars on a white field." it's a safe assumption that she knows what she's talking about. At least give her the benefit of the doubt.
Do not lie to the customer. Do not say "It must be new and we haven't gotten it yet" unless you know for a fact that it is a new release. If in fact, it's not new, you will look like an idiot.
Do not say "it's been backordered forever". This is not the customer's problem and it looks like you are passing the buck. See rule #1--do not lie to the customer.
Do not say "I don't think they make that." You just look stupid.
Bottom line: Do not lie to your customers. Be honest with your customer. We know that you can't possibly know every style, size and brand of paper out there. If you don't have it or haven't heard it, it's OK. Just say "I haven't heard of that but I can check into it."
Say it with me: "I don't know, but I can check into it."
It's easy. It's not a lie. And it makes clients feel like you care. Your customer's can be an invaluable resource, if only you listen and do not lie to them.
For what it's worth, I am so frustrated right now, I don't know what to do. I shop regularly at a nice little LSS in Nashville. I shop sporadically to not-very-often at the LSS in the surrounding areas due to the time it takes to travel to them, the price of gas, and the convenience of shopping online. When Scrap It closed, I kinda lost heart in finding another scrapbook store with inspirational walls--that place was one-of-a-kind. The loss of Scrap It created an inspiration vacuum here. None of the other stores--far or near--can even begin to offer the kind of unique art that the girls who displayed their art at Scrap It shared. It never failed that I would leave that store with a tear in my eye and a crick in my neck from looking up at the pages and art being displayed. It was obvious they weren't generating pages solely to sell product...even tho I'm sure that was a goal.
None of the other stores have stepped up to fill the gap and that is disappointing to me. And, for what it's worth, none of the other stores are carrying a decent quantity of Scenic Route either, which makes me want to say bad words.