Though the title might sound scandalous, I just wanted to make it clear at the beginning itself that Mixture Uncle and the Sales Woman have no connection with each other. I am really sorry if you have got deceived by the title and deeply disappointed, this post is just about two recent mutually exclusive events.
Curious Case Of Mixture Uncle
It was a rainy evening, and as usual, we craved for some hot snacks. Given the COVID-19 lockdown, It’s been a while since we had some hot vada from one of the neighborhood shops. With the restrictions relaxed, I decided to pay a visit there for some takeaway and suited myself with the mask and other precautionary measures. After exchanging pleasantries, the Vada Master (that’s how we address the person who makes Vada) checked if I could wait for a little so that he shall prepare it hot for me. And, that’s the perks of being a regular customer.
In the meanwhile entered a decent looking middle-aged man, and enquired the cost of a particular Mixture sold there. Recently, post-COVID, the shop has diversified its offerings with some packed snacks in conjunction with their freshly made Vada and Bonda varieties. After hearing the price, he could have bought it or left the place in peace. Instead, he started making a big fuzzy argument with the Master about the cost and stated how his product is costlier than the Navarathna Mixture sold by one of the largest Indian snack brands in the world. Though the Master clearly communicated that it wouldn’t be feasible for him to sell at that price, our Mixture Uncle doesn’t seem to cease. It felt more of a namesake argument rather than a genuine price negotiation. He even commonly accused the vendors in Tamil Nadu for overpricing and cheating the customers and claimed that things are cheaper in north India. Briefly, I stood there wondering why this respectable person owning an iPhone (can’t help notice the logo while he was using it) is arguing over a 5 Rs price difference. All these never affected our Master, and he continued to focus on his Vadas.
Quite irritated, I chipped in to save the Master. I don’t want his focus to move away from the Vadas. Our uncle, who has been arguing in Tamil all these while, suddenly switched to English, once I started questioning him. I am pretty sure he would have expected the least to get a lecture on Unit Economy, Economies of Scale, and the Law of Demand from a shabby-looking guy like me. Quite shocked and out of arguments, he got irritated and started leaving the shop. But, the Master emphasized that it’s unfair to leave without buying anything after all those arguments. Yet, our uncle walked out with a grumpy face. When I was about to leave collecting my share of hot Vadas, the Master frustratingly ranted that there are always such customers who are determined not to buy anything, but come and argue just for the sake of entertainment. I think it’s our inherent mentality to feel a win when we buy a thing after a negotiation.
That Fantastic Sales Woman
A year back, I remember reading a blog post from a friend Karthik Pasupathi on how a little care for the customer would eventually translate into a great customer experience. Below is one such experience.
A couple of weeks back, our 18 years old refrigerator at home went to a toss. Usually, we fix and continue using it with the help of a service technician. But this time, against all our hope, the technician deserted the refrigerator as it was beyond repair and suggested to get a new one. After shortlisting a few from the e-commerce websites, we visited the nearest showroom of a famous home appliance chain to buy one. Though we found the model that would suit our needs, we decided against buying it from there. It’s not just the overpricing that led us to that decision, but also the attitude of the salesperson when we pointed out that their price is way beyond the listing price on the brand’s website. We truly understand that they might not be able to match the price on the e-commerce price, but pushing to sell above the MRP listed on the brand’s official site is totally unacceptable. So, with all the frustration caused by the salesperson, we decided to head back home. But, dad suggested that we shall check in another appliance showroom that’s on our way back home, and I half-mindedly agreed to the same.
Once we entered the showroom, the manager enquired to know what we were looking for and immediately assigned a male salesperson. But once he noticed my mother accompanying me, he instantly allotted a saleswoman, so that it would be comfortable for my mom to interact. She clearly explained the features, patiently cleared our queries, and above all, she didn’t try to oversell. In fact, she even convinced my mom to go for a robust and cheaper model rather than an expensive one with not so great extra features. She also clarified that they are currently not matching the online price due to the increase in demand. Yet, she managed to get us a price close to the online rate and even discounted the delivery charges. Most importantly, even after the sales, she followed up and ensured that the refrigerator got delivered on time.
No conclusions and just wanted to share these interesting incidents up on my blog.