should i warn them about what they're getting into?
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should i warn them about what they're getting into?

This is a discussion on should i warn them about what they're getting into? within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> ok, guys, i need a little advice. i work at petco, primarily in the aquatics department. we are mostly geared towards beginner aquarists and ...

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should i warn them about what they're getting into?
Old 11-01-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
 
soco1125's Avatar
 
should i warn them about what they're getting into?

ok, guys, i need a little advice. i work at petco, primarily in the aquatics department. we are mostly geared towards beginner aquarists and i get lots of customers who all they know about fish is that they live in water. i not only follow petco's code of ethics, but i also adhere to my own. i ask new customers buying fish what size tank they have, how long they've had it running, and what types of fish they currently have in it. i warn them against incompatible, agressive, or very large species and urge them to buy more appropriate inhabitants for their tanks. i don't b.s., i give it to them straight. most customers seem to appreciate this and i have developed quite a following over the past 3 months. however, there have been some customers who were put off by my nosiness and a couple of coworkers criticized me for not moving customers through fast enough and not pushing sales as much as possible. i believe that being honest and straightforward builds customer loyalty. if i give these people genuinely solid, beneficial advice, they will not be going to walmart down the street but will come back to petco every time to buy their fish and products.

so am i wrong? am i being too nosy? i figured this would be the best place to ask since everyone here was a beginner at one time. thanks.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
 
i say keep up the good work that your doing. most people will appreciate it and continue to come back to you. dont do anything to jeopardize your job but in my opinion your doing great.

Steve
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:34 PM   #3
 
I work for PetSmart. What I do is direct them toward fish that are more suitable. If they are very intent on a difficult species I warn them about it's death and threaten not to honor our 14 day return policy. (Empty threat, unfortunatly). I find that it's all in the delivery. "hmmm, well Tigar Barbs don't really go well with guppies, they have a habit of eating them. Are you attracted to them because they are larger? Well, okay how about. . ." I can't actually come up with a fish that is bigger than guppies that won't eat the guppies, but you get the point.

When it comes to spending too much time with the customers, I suggest up selling everyone. If you can get half your customers to buy something that they didn't come into the store to buy, then that is time well spent.

I hope I helped
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisseh View Post
When it comes to spending too much time with the customers, I suggest up selling everyone. If you can get half your customers to buy something that they didn't come into the store to buy, then that is time well spent.
if i have a sales person that keeps trying to sell me something i didnt come in for, i let them know quick that i can and will take my business somewhere else. today i might go in there and only spend $5 but my next trip i might spend $50 and use the same amount of the sales persons time both times. years ago i managed a retail store that sold tv's and stereo's and the 1st thing i let all my sales people know was i would fire them on the spot if i ever heard them trying to push something on a customer that they really didnt want or need.

Steve
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:28 PM   #5
 
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its apparent your doing more meets your job requirements. i say bravo to you, as i avoid petco and petsmarts as ive had bad experiences.

if you get fired for dishing out the right information and provided good customer service, it sounds like that company is at a loss.

i say job well done
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:51 PM   #6
 
I think it's great to go into a petstore and find someone who is willing to spend time with customers, answering questions and who knows what they are talking about. I know two people at my Petsmart who are always willing to talk to me and who are knowledgeable about fish.I went in one time to get something for finrot and the girl wouldn't recommend any meds. She said it was too hard on bettas and recommended daily water changes. She could have sold me all kinds of stuff but didn't.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:11 PM   #7
 
Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nudist View Post
if i have a sales person that keeps trying to sell me something i didnt come in for, i let them know quick that i can and will take my business somewhere else. today i might go in there and only spend $5 but my next trip i might spend $50 and use the same amount of the sales persons time both times. years ago i managed a retail store that sold tv's and stereo's and the 1st thing i let all my sales people know was i would fire them on the spot if i ever heard them trying to push something on a customer that they really didnt want or need.

Steve

no - no, I didn't mean to be pushy. I guess, I ment to show the products. They sell themselves. For example, we talk about doing "water changes", however a lot of customers do not have a python/hose. So, I show them where they are and how to use it. I suggest they get one, but it's up to them which one they buy. Or even if they get one (today) or not. A lot of customers just don't know that some of the products exist or how to use them. Other things, like water clarifier, I warn against. I think I have only sold water clarifier once in the year I have been at PetSmart. I hate the stuff and think that it just covers up the "real" problem(s).

Up selling to me is having a customer buy something they had no intentions to buy. Like taking home three guppies instead of just two, or even a ghost shrimp. The actual cost of the item doesn't matter, just that you help people.

I hope you don't think that I am a big jerk out to get all the monies.
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:36 AM   #8
 
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I really can't give you an objective answer. I'm a fish geek. I take good care of my fish. I enjoy fish stores run by fish geeks who sell healthy fish and know what they're talking about. The only big box pet store I frequent is the one Petsmart with a decent staff of people who generally know what they're talking about.

But that's just me. When looking up different local fish stores in my area, I read a lot of reviews of stores. Those reviews told a different story - the average customer wants fish because they're a cheap, low-maintenance pet. They look pretty. They don't care about tank size requirements or compatibility. They practically expect their fish to die in a couple of weeks. In fact, they're turned off by pet store employees that would dare to tell them that a certain fish is inappropriate for their community tank or that they need to wait until their tank cycles before adding fish.

So, it's really a mixed bag. If I worked at a good LFS, I would be more inclined to be as helpful as possible and guide people in the right direction. However, if I was working at a Petsmart, I'd be scared of losing my job by not selling things to people. Maybe this is just a tirade against big box stores, but Petsmart doesn't rake in the dough by maintaining high rates of customer loyalty - they do it by being cheaper than small private stores.
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:28 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Chrisseh View Post
no - no, I didn't mean to be pushy. I guess, I ment to show the products. They sell themselves. For example, we talk about doing "water changes", however a lot of customers do not have a python/hose. So, I show them where they are and how to use it. I suggest they get one, but it's up to them which one they buy. Or even if they get one (today) or not. A lot of customers just don't know that some of the products exist or how to use them. Other things, like water clarifier, I warn against. I think I have only sold water clarifier once in the year I have been at PetSmart. I hate the stuff and think that it just covers up the "real" problem(s).

Up selling to me is having a customer buy something they had no intentions to buy. Like taking home three guppies instead of just two, or even a ghost shrimp. The actual cost of the item doesn't matter, just that you help people.

I hope you don't think that I am a big jerk out to get all the monies.
i'm sorry i misunderstood your other post, i thought you were saying you tried to push "junk" on people that they really didnt need but after reading your last post, i would enjoy going into your store and buying fish from you. thanks for clearing that up and keep up the good work.

Steve
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:26 AM   #10
 
Thanks Nudist. I feel for new employees and all thestuff/crap they are asked to juggle and I wanted to give an insiders opinion. It's what I do at work and my bosses love me for it. But I also will not sell a Pacu for a 10g tank. (It is actually against store policy to sell a fish for a tank that it will grow out of. The trade off is that PetSmart decides the minimum tank requirements, which for pacus is 75g. I personally say 125g, but that's cause people here have shown such great pictures of big guys)
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