7 Ways to Lose your Customers (part one)


We all know what a damn nuisance customers are: they mess up our premises, they take stock off our shelves, they demand to be served and they insist on telephoning us at times when we have far more important things to do. How many days have you had that have been spoilt by customers?

To help you to bring peace and tranquillity into your lives here are some proven tactics which will really let customers know how unwelcome they are so that they will go away and stay away and we can get on with the important things in life.

Tactic 1 ‘Don’t Engage with the Customer.’

To set the scene, I am in the supermarket, I approach the checkout, I set my goods on the conveyor belt and smile at the checkout person who does not smile back but looks around me to her colleague on the next till;

“Here, you knows I have my days off on a Thursday & Friday, right? Yeah well this year Christmas is Thursday & Friday, right, and so I says to him, ‘When can I have my days off then?” And he says, ‘Thursday & Friday, same as normal.’ And I says, ‘That can’t be right ‘cos they’re holidays, everyone gets them off. I ought to have another two days.’ And he says, ‘It’s not my fault you don’t work…’ – £26.89 love – ‘…Thursday & Friday, is it?’  He says, ‘You don’t work in Boots either do you? But if Boots had a day’s holiday you wouldn’t expect me to give you a day in lieu would you?’ He’s a right git he is. And another thing…”

So a fascinating exchange which made me as a customer feel really rather special.  Obviously if you can upset and annoy your customer facing staff it does encourage them to share their feelings with customers. True aficionados of the ‘Ignore the Customer’ tactic will have noticed a little slip there.  Did you spot it?  Yes, she actually spoke to me to tell me the price – she should just have pointed at the LED display and grunted.

You see perfect, absolutely no communication at all.  Brilliant.

Fag break!
Tactic 2 – Look as Unappealing as Possible

So what else can we do?  Another great tactic (tactic 2) is to ‘Look as Unappealing as Possible’.  This is a great one for your smokers. The staff in my local supermarket have this dead right.  Out in the street, near the entrance to the store is smoker’s corner.  Here staff who are not permitted to smoke within, pick their way through a sea of dog ends, come rain or shine, to congregate at regular intervals for a fag.  Resplendent in their shop uniforms they lean against the wall and the conversation goes some thing like this (MUCH FAG DRAGGING, NAIL BITING AND NOSE PICKING)

“Y’all right?”


“Bleeding cold in’it”


“On yer break?”

“Nah, just ‘avin’ a fag.”

“What doing after?”

“I’m on the deli counter…”

We would always recommend that you encourage staff to smoke where they are MOST VISIBLE to potential customers to guarantee this particular turnoff works to maximum effect.

Why develop your product knowledge? Just read out your displays to your customers!

Next tactic.  Tactic Three: Feign or better still cultivate total ignorance of your product and product range.

I’d read about  a new SONY television in Which magazine and popped into an a famous electrical retailer to see if I could purchase the KS9905.

After much hanging around the hi-fis in an expectant manner (Keep the customer waiting is tactic four –  it really does does work.)

Eventually I bump into a young girl in a stained tabard (see Tactic 2)

“Can you help me?”

“Er…what can I do for you?”

“Which? magazine was very impressed with the new Sony Hi Fi so I thought I’d take a look’

“Were they?”

“Yes, and look there is a laminated copy of the article attached to it.”

“Oh yes, I wondered what that was – I haven’t read it though.”

“Do you know if I can play my i-pod through this?”

(Reading from features list) “This hi-fi has 40watts per channel, an impactful sub-woofer and comes in a choice of sleek black or stylish white. I should think so. Most do these days. Don’t they? Would you like to have a listen?”

“Yes please”

“Hang on I’ll get the security keys”

Another 10 minutes pass by – again Tactic Four: Keep the Customer Waiting.

“We haven’t got any in stock – that’s just a dummy model for display, apparently, sorry.”

“Right then well never mind, goodbye”

You see, she had me out of that showroom in double quick time.  She also managed to avoid the mistake of ‘Finding an Alternative’ which would have delayed my departure and possibly interfered with her coffee or toilet, lunch, fag break or wherever she was a going when she had the misfortune to bump into me.

Be sure to come back for Tactics 5 to 7!


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4 Responses to “7 Ways to Lose your Customers (part one)”

  1. Greg Mayne Says:

    Priceless! Can’t wait for Part 2 – although you’ll have to be careful not to slip into ‘Grumpy Old Man’ mode…..oops, too late!

    Hope all is well, look forward to catching up with you some time – at Cropredy if not before.



  2. Simon Ward Says:

    Ha, love it. Great read. I’ve now bookmarked the site. (I’ve never actually done that before)

  3. Ken Norman Says:

    Enjoy Part Two!

  4. Great Service from GO Outdoors « New Tricks Training’s Old Dog Blog Says:

    […] have gathered from our previous posts on the subject (How far do you spread the word… and Seven Ways to Lose your Customers Parts 1 & 2) we are passionate about customer […]

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