Customer Service Individual Assignment “Mystery Shopper”
The retail outlet that I visited was Escents Aromatherapy, a store that sells essential oils and scents. A regular customer at the store first chooses a scentless product and then goes on to shop for a scent or essential oil that he she wants added to the scentless product. A customer can choose a single scent or a blend of different aromas. I chose this store because it offers a high contact service and a lot of customer interaction is required before the client makes a purchase. Before approaching the store, I made a plan to purchase two different products; a scent for a home air freshener and a blend of scents for aromatherapy.
Upon entering the store, I found several clients, some waiting at the reception and others being attended to at different points at the shop. I was directly ushered into the waiting area by a young lady who was very welcoming and ready to assist. The employee gave me a small booklet with information regarding different aromas and scents and told me that someone would attend to me in about two minutes. I asked the employee why they would not attend to me immediately and she was ready to explain that no attendant was free at that time and that the next free assistant would attend to me. Other customers who entered the store after me were also treated with the same welcoming attitude from the employee. She appeared to be very patient with every customer and was ready to answer any question or complaint.
Just a minute after sitting at the waiting area, the employee came back with another attendant who was ready to serve my request. Since I did not know exactly what scent I wanted to purchase, the attendant was very willing to help when I asked him if I could review several scents before I made the decision. The attendant cheerfully took me through the different products they sell including fragrances for aromatherapy, for bath, soothing gels, oils, among other scents. After telling the attendant that I really did not know what I wanted, he was patient enough to take me through all the scents for different purposes. The attendant was also ready to explain what each scent was and what its purpose was. He was also ready to and cheerfully answered all my questions.
About 30 minutes after being in the store, I started feeling sort of dizzy, perhaps because of sniffing a lot of scents at once. I later found out that the store has over 100 scents and fragrances that one can choose from. After the attendant realized that I was not feeling well, he immediately asked me if I was okay and ushered me to an area where I could sit. He immediately called another attendant who took me outside to get some fresh air. Other people in the store, especially customers were a little worried but they appeared to have relaxed a bit when they realized that the store attendants were doing their best to assist me.
The attendants asked if they could call a nurse to assist me but after breathing some fresh air, my dizziness was gone and I was ready to make my purchase. I chose four essential oils to go to the aromatherapy blend and one oil for the air freshener. An interesting thing about the store is that they mix the oils right there and each drop of a chosen scent is carefully added to the product. I asked the attendant if I could add the drops myself and he agreed. I did so after seeing other customers adding a few drops to their chosen products. I finally chose to purchase a blend of jojoba oil and bergamot oil for the aromatherapy product and Jasmine oil as air freshener.
From my experience at the store, I learnt that front-line staff should have several traits and attributes to effectively service customers. One important attribute is patience as without it, a front-line customer cannot readily attend to every customer with a smile. Patience also helps when an employee has to deal with a grumpy customer. Another important skill that a front-line staff should have is knowledge of the product that he or she is selling. Without the knowledge of the product, an employee cannot help a customer with using the product. Besides, front-line customers should always be ready to handle surprises. Feeling unwell really took the store’s employee by surprise and the calmness of the attendant who helped me saved the situation. However, the staff at the store need more time management skills.
As a customer, I learnt that while asking questions is my right, I should also understand that am not the only customer at the store. The reaction of other customers when the store’s staff assisted me when I felt unwell helped me understand that customers are very observant of how other customers are treated. When other customers realized that the store attendants were in control of the situation, they calmed down and continued with their shopping experience.