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April 25, 2008

How Not to Keep a Customer

Knitting , What, me? Have an opinion?

A few years ago, a new yarn store opened near where I was living at the time. I was a regular customer for a while, but I'm not anymore, partially because I live farther away (and closer to other stores) now, and partially because I'm not thrilled with some of the store's business practices. But I still go there occasionally, because I happen to be walking by or because I urgently need something when I'm in that town or whatever. Every time, the owner puts on a big show of being thrilled to see me, but it always includes a lot of "I haven't seen you in so long! Why haven't you been here?" Every time, I politely tell her that I've moved, so I'm not in the area as much. Every time, she makes a huge issue of it anyway. I end up feeling even less inclined to shop there, because it means I'll be interrogated about why I apparently don't spend enough money there as she wants me to.

Today, I met a friend who works in that town for lunch. We went to a cafe a few blocks from the yarn store - and there she was. The yarn store owner. And what does she say? "I haven't seen you in so long! Why haven't you been in to the store?" Sigh. Can't we just leave it at "Hi, nice to see you"?

Posted by Kat at April 25, 2008 04:36 PM

I've actually never been to a LYS, except for the tiny one in our town that stocks all different varieties of Red Heart and not much else -- not that I'm a yarn snob; I have a lot of Red Heart in my stash, but just to illustrate -- but from what I've read on Ravelry and elsewhere, this seems to be a common behavior among LYS owners. It's interesting that you don't get behavior like that from other small-business kinds of stores. It's like they think that the fact that they run a business that by its nature relies on a few people spending a lot of money is justification in their mind for completely forgetting the manners their mothers taught them about dropping REALLY BIG HINTS when they want money from someone.

Hi, that was a really great sentence. But I'm too tired to fix it and anyway it's bedtime.

Posted by: Rachel at April 26, 2008 02:19 AM

You know, I feel exactly the same way about my LYS!! It is so annoying to hear that I haven't been there in a long time that I actively avoid going there just so I won't have to hear about it.

Posted by: robin at April 30, 2008 04:13 PM
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