Customer Service - don't cross the line into pester and peeve territory

That's the title of my Slaw post for today.   It reads as follows. Following my customer service post last week, I had an experience on the weekend where store clerks were so intrusive that it was annoying.  So much so that it makes me wonder if I want to go back to that store again.  It's a reminder that while we need to be attentive to customer / client needs, it's possible to cross the line from good service to annoying and creepy.  And it's possible to try too hard to sell our services.

I went into a new store, and was immediately asked by a greeter if they could direct me to something.  He sent me in the right direction, where I was met by a sales clerk.  The sales clerk helped me decide between some options (a wireless N router in case you are wondering).  Once I had it in my hand, he asked if there was anything else he could help me with.  I said no - thanked him for his help - and that I might just look at a couple other boxes on the shelf to satisfy myself that I made the right choice.

So far, so good - but that's when it fell off the rails.  

He started to try to sell me an anti-virus product, but continued even after I said I was happy with my current anti-virus product.   He told me he had to stay with me and walk me to the cash register.  I asked if he was on commission (thinking he wanted to make sure he got credit for the sale)  - he said no.  I asked why he had to do that - he said he didn't know - it was a management rule.    Frankly, it felt like I was being stalked or mistrusted.  (I briefly considered wasting his time on a tour of the store to see how long he would stick with me - but I didn't have time for that myself.)

So he indeed walked with me right to the cashier and stood there until I paid and walked out the door.

And to continue the irritation, the cashier asked for my name and address.  I asked why - he said if I lost my receipt and had to return it, they would have a record of the purchase.  I wasn't satisfied with that answer, and saw no advantage to being in their database, so I politely declined.  While he didn't say anything, that of course flustered and miffed the cashier.

So give our clients the attention they deserve, and make efforts to sell our services where appropriate to clients and potential clients - but don't cross the line into pester and peeve territory.

GeneralDavid CantonSlaw