Turn signal flashing, Mrs. Customer carefully pulls her Buick up to your store and asks to see matching tables for her living room.
Ms. Customer peels into the lot, glove box bursting with parking tickets, and asks if you have a red leather chaise for her bedroom.
Mrs. Customer does not wear white shoes after Labor Day or diamonds before dinner. Her furniture lines the walls of her room like soldiers. Her pictures, one per wall, are hung higher than the top of the artificial ficus. She is law-abiding to the core.
Ms. Customer, on the other hand, wears seersucker on warm days in November. She mixes florals and animal prints with antiques and modern art. Rules to her are just “guidelines” and even those were made to be broken.
Should you push Mrs. Customer to rebel and mix up those end tables? Should you try to fetter Ms. Customer from a fashion faux pas?
As a company, how do you merchandise your store for both women?
As a salesperson, how do you adapt your personal style to her unique technique?
Reading this post, did you make any assumptions which about customer was which in the picture? Shame on you! Now, would you like to know if you were right?
I have to admit, I assumed the older woman was Mrs. Customer and the younger was Ms. Customer. But it could easily go the other way. There are some younger customers who are so unsure of their decisions and so anxious to not make mistakes that they take a safe, tried-and-true route. The older customer may have followed all rules already and now be ready to break a few! And peeling into the parking lot with a collection of parking tickets could be a reflection of aging vision, forgetfulness and just not giving a hoot. Anyway, this is a great description of two ends of the spectrum of customers one can encounter in any given day. Appreciating and being prepared to work with either one and all those in between them is the true mark of good retailing.