Taking responsibility and honoring promises and prices as well as on the consumer side, having the correct information is absolutely ‘your job, your responsibility.’
Recently, I came across and ‘met’ a new handbag I fell in love with. In fact, it truly was love at first sight. The way the silver chained handles looked and the beautiful soft leather felt, it really was a sight for sore eyes. Here was the dilemma and all the thoughts that raced through my head as I could not take my eyes off of it.
Do I really need another bag? Can I justify the spend? Will it be too “dressy for work?” What if it gets dirty? How will I clean it? Is it really an everyday bag?
Wait, it’s on sale for 3 days only (25% off), says the salesperson in an almost flirtatious voice. I look at the bag as if it could speak. I ask her to unlock it and let me look inside. She did. After inspecting the bag as though I am a medical practitioner, I suggest to her that I take a picture of the tag and think about it. After all, I have 3 days to consider this important purchase.
I leave and am proud of myself for not buying it straight away. But the next morning, I awoke with a pressing urgency to get that bag. The discussions continued in my head. How can I justify it? I don’t need another bag. I just checked on my 80 other bags and they are all good. Let me call the store just to validate what the saleswoman shared. Yes, this is on the tag, yes, it is 25% off, and yes only until Tuesday. OMG. I do the math. That is such a good deal. Yea, but I don’t need it. So, I leave it till the evening.
I call again. Ah yes, I recognize your voice, you called earlier. Yes, I just want to double check and make sure the bag is really on sale. Yes it is. I sleep on it again and am even more proud of myself for leaving it another day. Then, the next day is here and all I can think about is the bag. The way the pockets are made for each item and the color would match all of my clothes and how professional looking it is and how wonderful and light it is and the way it feels on my shoulder. I have to go back. It’s the last day. They close at 9pm. I call again. Do you have the bag left and is it on sale. Yes and Yes. I race to the store.
When I take the bag to be purchased, they tell me it is not on sale. I say that can’t be so. It was not this bag but the other ones over there. No, I reply, it was this one. Here is the picture of the ticket and I called at least three times to verify. I’m sorry says the salesperson. It is not on sale. This is a much more expensive bag than the one over there. I am now feeling as though I am standing in the ocean with sharks surrounding me. What do I do? My mind and eyes are so focused on the bag, I don’t think I can move. In fact, I’m not leaving…I can’t until this bag comes home with me and with the 25% off that I had factored in.
So, in an uncanny desperate voice, I say “Do you really think I would be coming back at 7pm just for this bag, if I didn’t really believe that it was 25% off and that I would call 3 times and take a picture of the tag and call the manufacturer of the bag to check if they had this color in their stores? Really?”. After much discussion and back and forth, she says she will honor the discount.
At this point, I feel like jumping up and down. But wait, I always thought it was that price so why am I celebrating the expectation I had in the first place? Why is she making me feel like she is doing me a favor? And why did I have to go through the argument anyway?
Then to seal the painful experience, she tells me, do not come back here to return this or if anything goes wrong, please go to another store. My heart sinks. Is she going to get in trouble? Should I really be buying this when now I am already discussing returning it or something going wrong?
Who is taking responsibility here? If you decide to honor the commitment, why not take the ownership for your decision? Are we empowering our people to do the right thing and own the service recovery? Why is she so uncomfortable doing this and feels the need to share that with me. We must stand by our decisions, be supported by our employers to honor the commitments and own our actions. This rule applies for both the retailer and the consumer.
The bag is now sitting inside its bag cover and is on a shelf in my closet. It sits there as though it is going to be photographed for a magazine, maybe about clean closets or maybe about bags. Who knows? I am hoping to unveil it next week. The love at first sight is now just love and I’m hoping to fall in love with it again when I use it for the first time.
Take ownership, responsibility for your actions.