Vantage Blog


The 'sorry' shop

I recently holidayed in NSW with my family staying in a small town with great beaches – a great setting for a relaxing holiday!

Whilst there I visited the local shops and being passionate about customer service engaged in some interesting interactions! 

One in particular got me thinking…

I was looking for a light for our camper trailer and asked at the local service station.  They were unable to help so I asked did they know of anywhere else.

“Well you could try the ‘sorry’ shop” was the reply.

“The 'sorry' shop?”

“Yes, their answer to everything is ‘sorry we don’t have that!’”  (It actually was the local hardware store)

Naturally intrigued I visited the sorry shop and, true to reputation, they were sorry…not only didn’t they have the light I wanted, they indicated that they were asked for that type quite regularly!

Which got me thinking.  How many businesses are just ‘sorry’ shops?  Only focused on selling what they are comfortable with or have always sold - not set up to meet customers’ needs – even when they are staring them in the face.  

Many I fear.  The hue and cry over the impact of online retailing is an excellent example.  Rather than try and meet the challenge – either head or on or by offering something truly different offline - they fall back to being sorry - impotent and unwilling (rather than unable) to service the opportunity right there and then.

So are you a ‘sorry’ shop/business or are you continually adapting to ensure you are focused on helping customers meet their needs?

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