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Spectric

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Hi

Is it just me or do others have the same problems when looking for products, not just associated with woodwork but many things in general. It seems that there are a lot of sellers but few who actually know that much about what they are selling and to make it worse they seem to take offence when you ask them for anything more than what is it's color. Even going to the manufacturer their customer services, once you have listened to endless recordings of totally irrelevant nonsense cannot offer any help but just want to fob you off to get their que down. It is really frustrating, dealing with what can only be described as seat warmers born with just enough brain cells to keep their ears apart. What happened to inteligent salesman, the type that thrived on product knowledge and knew it was a great sales tool, ok we have some around but they are the minority and I find tend to be in more niche markets.
 

Doug B

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Pay peanuts get monkeys.

pre covid I really used to enjoy the woodworking shows as companies have reps from the tool manufacturers at the show, these reps are trained in the use of the tool & have a good knowledge of the products, well the good manufacturers do.
Buying from shops generally means dealing with a shop assistant who is selling what the store stocks with very little knowledge of the products there are exceptions.
 
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marcros

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Do the shops still have sales reps? I presume that the builders merchants might but I don't hear anybody calling themself a sales rep now.
 

Sandyn

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It's modern life. The sooner we get some artificial humans on the service desk the better! Seriously it would be an excellent use for AI......as long as the seat warmers didn't program them.
 

TFrench

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Do the shops still have sales reps? I presume that the builders merchants might but I don't hear anybody calling themself a sales rep now.
Our suppliers almost never send a rep round. The only ones that do are the fixing supplier (RECA) and he makes sales every time he comes in. The others just give you bad service and rely on you not bothering to go anywhere else (SIG group are the worst for this) and act surprised when we tell them we've gone elsewhere.
 

TheUnicorn

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knowledgable staff are pretty much the only thing that keeps me shopping on the high street, and the lack of basic courtesy and knowledge (ie training) again and again is what drives me to amazon and the like. A year or so ago I asked the 'butcher' in waitrose how was best to cook a particular cut of meat, the answer, word for word, "put it in the oven I 'spose". I feel sorry for the employees losing their jobs as the high street slowly gives up, but the managements need to make some changes if they ever hope to compete with cheaper prices (mostly) on amazon.
 

marcros

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knowledgable staff are pretty much the only thing that keeps me shopping on the high street, and the lack of basic courtesy and knowledge (ie training) again and again is what drives me to amazon and the like. A year or so ago I asked the 'butcher' in waitrose how was best to cook a particular cut of meat, the answer, word for word, "put it in the oven I 'spose". I feel sorry for the employees losing their jobs as the high street slowly gives up, but the managements need to make some changes if they ever hope to compete with cheaper prices (mostly) on amazon.
Disappointing. I have asked similar in both Waitrose and Morrisons and had sensible answers back. Not sure I would rely upon the advice but it is a starting point for research.
 

artie

Sawdust manufacturer.
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The future is free returns.
Buy it try it if you don't like it or can't figure it out send it back.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Perhaps the lack of knowledgeable staff in most places has driven the growth in craft, product, technology etc specific fora - much like this one. Or it could be that the growth of fora has eliminated the need for knowledgable staff. A bit chicken and egg!

Consumer markets are now about creating brand recognition and loyalty, and is extending into a lot of trade and business products.

So why incur the extra costs of specialist sales teams who actually understand the product when all most buyers do is decide what they want, perhaps using a forum, then hunt down the cheapest on-line.

It's the brave new world - familiar territory for those below 30-40, a challenge for those over 70!!
 

Cabinetman

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It’s just as bad online, some times the very basic information that you need isn’t supplied, I was looking at ringbolts the other day they gave the diameter and the length of the shaft but didn’t give the diameter of the ring, obviously I had something that had to fit the ring. Just one example but it’s happening all the time, as was said, seat warmers probably with not the faintest idea what the item is they’re describing - or not!
 

D_W

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Hi

Is it just me or do others have the same problems when looking for products, not just associated with woodwork but many things in general. It seems that there are a lot of sellers but few who actually know that much about what they are selling and to make it worse they seem to take offence when you ask them for anything more than what is it's color. Even going to the manufacturer their customer services, once you have listened to endless recordings of totally irrelevant nonsense cannot offer any help but just want to fob you off to get their que down. It is really frustrating, dealing with what can only be described as seat warmers born with just enough brain cells to keep their ears apart. What happened to inteligent salesman, the type that thrived on product knowledge and knew it was a great sales tool, ok we have some around but they are the minority and I find tend to be in more niche markets.
if you asked my wife, it would pretty much begin and end with what the color is and sometimes if I ask her about further details, she gets huffy, too.

I think data mining eliminated the intelligent salesman because he:
* didn't follow the script
* may have advised a customer that the low end was for them (avoided the upsell) or that they didn't have anything that really seemed to meet the customer's needs
* had a family that cost extra money for employee benefits
* catered to customers that data mining said weren't key customers for a product (you need new customers, and dumb ones, not loyal customers who want service).

It seems like the entire world caters to the easy 80%, and data mining has told everyone else that the cost to provide support or information or quality to attract the other 20% didn't provide a marginal benefit equal to the cost.

"we're going to focus on our core customer going forward".

90% of the remaining 20% of the providers are folks who use the term "perceived quality" instead of quality. They focus on perceived quality and not actual quality.

We had an old school carpet store that went out of business down the hill here. they had genuine hand woven rugs and regular carpet, but no real junk. They went out of business (of course), and my wife said "what do you think will go in where the carpet store was?" I said "either a dollar store (not sure if you have something equivalent in england) or a third world auto parts store - nobody else selling legitimate quality could possibly afford the rent.

We got a dollar store.

Attached to the old carpet store was a pet store on the other half of the property (like a real one, not a chain).

The pet store went out of business a year later and we got...wait for it.....

auto zone (imported auto parts - not parts for imports, but third world parts). On the other side of the road there is another imported auto parts store. The margin must be really great on third world parts.
 

Awac

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knowledgable staff are pretty much the only thing that keeps me shopping on the high street, and the lack of basic courtesy and knowledge (ie training) again and again is what drives me to amazon and the like. A year or so ago I asked the 'butcher' in waitrose how was best to cook a particular cut of meat, the answer, word for word, "put it in the oven I 'spose". I feel sorry for the employees losing their jobs as the high street slowly gives up, but the managements need to make some changes if they ever hope to compete with cheaper prices (mostly) on amazon.
I once read that to qualify as a Swiss Master butcher, it took 7 years...2 of which was pastry training so you could advice how to cook and know how to prepare the cut. Can you imagine if you had asked him his advice on pastry?
 

clogs

just can't decide
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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
just to say after living in France, 16 LONG years [sounds like the UK is going the same way] Greece is heaven for our kinda shopping.....
all the stores are mum + dad family run .....nothing is to much trouble.....no B+Q or the like.....or The Home Depot for our cousines....
went in to buy a couple of boxes of screws n rawl plugs.....they were surprised I didn't want a specific number...
ask for something they dont have, they happily phone Athens for delivery time....
which is norm only 2 days but if u catch the truck right it's next day...they also offer to phone u when it arrives...often u pay when it turns up not before...
even asked if they want a deposit....they look at u as if ur crazy......plus there is no delivery / postal cost added....
If u ask for a recommended supplier also no prob.....if they dont have it and ur desperate...u get, go see Stavros up the road he will have it...
and REMEMBER there is a language problem for me, [plan to go to school in the new year].....
they will also phone somebody with better English to find out what u want.....
been doing a lot of sewerage pipe work.....tend to buy more joints than needed, it's a 25min drive to the store, they offer to take back anything unused for the full price...
Customer loaylty for me is very important....they are genuinley pleased to see u when u turn up......
cant say anything bad at the mo...well thats after a year now....
for a laugh,
found a Brummie sounding Greek lad running the swimming pool store.....he was born in Crete went to live in Brum at 3 years, then came back for a better life....he's around 40......mmmmm....says it all really.....
 

Concizat

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Romford
knowledgable staff are pretty much the only thing that keeps me shopping on the high street, and the lack of basic courtesy and knowledge (ie training) again and again is what drives me to amazon and the like. A year or so ago I asked the 'butcher' in waitrose how was best to cook a particular cut of meat, the answer, word for word, "put it in the oven I 'spose". I feel sorry for the employees losing their jobs as the high street slowly gives up, but the managements need to make some changes if they ever hope to compete with cheaper prices (mostly) on amazon.
Last January I went to my local Sainsburys and asked the assistant where I could find the haggis as Burns night was approaching.
He replied "is that a cleaning product? You'll find it in the next aisle!!
 
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