Thursday, October 1, 2015

The "Just Looking" Customer

ONE OF THE most common things we see at Second String Music is the person who walks in and says, "Just looking." And then they walk right back out. The internet and self-service training are counter intuitive to shopping in a small mom and pop music store. We feel like we are brimming with great info and advice to help you buy just the right musical item.

When you come into our store, we ask you if we can help you find anything. Maybe you are looking for strings, violin rosin, an instructional book, drum stuff, used gear or a starter guitar. If we know what you need, we can save you time by showing you the general area where those items are arranged. We want our customers to have a great experience, whether it's just for a minute or for an hour. We also want to make sure you don't leave the store thinking we don't have what you were looking for when we could have shown you where it is located. Simple. Easy. But sadly we are not self-service oriented.

Deering and Dean Banjo's
There is the hunter/gatherer theory of "Just Looking." Men are always looking to provide for their family. Always hunting, looking for the next challenge, seeking out what works for their family. We are a music store that caters to these hunter/gatherers. The "Just Looking" works for these people because they are in the hunting mode. Lately we have been helping these guys find our beautiful Breedlove Guitars

I like it when people come in and stroll around. Our store isn't that big. It doesn't take that long to figure out what we have. The most common "Just Looking" customer is the guy whose wife is shopping or getting her hair done downtown, and they have time to kill. Those are the guys with some stories to tell or wander aimlessly. I know he likely isn't going to buy anything. But he might be back, and I do want him to have a favorable impression of the store.

The most frustrating ones are the customers who come in, utter a reflex "just looking," and spend maybe a minute or two in the store. It feels silly to ignore a customer in the store but they don't seem to want further interaction.

I tend to think these kinds of folks expect to see a store with walls lined with high end, vintage guitars. We would love the chance to educate them on the high quality, new Breedlove, Takamine and Ibanez guitars. 

One thing it has taught us is that when we go into other stores, we are not "just looking." We tell them either what we are seeking or that we know what we are there for already. Sometimes if we are just browsing we make a point to stop and say that politely and with better eye contact.

Who knew the lessons that working in a retail store would teach us!

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