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Old 08-22-2000, 03:03 PM   #1
abkaiser
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Default disney store "niceness" = saturn service?

Okay, I'm sure many of us have been in the Disney Store at your local mall, or at least walked by it.
As of about 5 years ago, they started putting greeters at the front - just some underpaid teenager who gets to stand there all day and greet people as they came in or walked past. (I'm using Disney as my example, because they were the first store I noticed that did this, though after they did it, it seemed like suddenly *every* store had a greeter.) I think it's obvious that this is a customer relations tool to make people feel more welcome at the store. However, this practice always struck me as annoying and forced. (Then again, I don't like dealing with salespeople in general.)

My question is:

Good Saturn dealerships go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.
Mall stores have greeters that I assume are there to do the same thing.
...Why is it that I really like Saturn, but hate the mall store greeters?

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Old 08-22-2000, 03:31 PM   #2
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Default disney store

auto dealers are nicer... you'll be spending thousands more here (and maybe again in 4 yrs). money talks.

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Old 08-22-2000, 06:15 PM   #3
100KSW2
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Default disney store

I suspect that the Saturn retailer employees are older (and closer to your age) and (hopefully) better trained and paid. I get the impression that a lot of employees at the retailers I have used (the ones who have lasted) are quite satisfied in their jobs.
That ALWAYS makes a big difference!

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Old 08-22-2000, 07:23 PM   #4
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Default disney store

The first place I ever encountered a greeter was at KMart and that was 15 years ago. The problem with most stores having a greeter is that he or she is often the first and last person who is nice to you. A better system is to let the first employee who makes contact with you welcome you and have all the others you encounter make natural eye contact and follow with a smile and a hello. Nothing forced and everything low key. It also helps if at least some of the employees know the regular customers by name.

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Old 08-23-2000, 05:35 AM   #5
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Default disney store

Actually, if you read Sam Walton's book "Made in America", you'll learn that one of the greeter's main functions is to discourage theft. The greeter thing was started by a Wal-Mart manager in Louisiana to cut down shrink, and Sam spread it to all stores.

Possibly what you feel in the malls is that the greeter's not really there to welcome you but to watch you and their greeting isn't real.

At saturn, the purpose is truly to welcome you unless, of course, you're walking out with an L300 in your pocket<grin>.

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Old 08-23-2000, 08:36 AM   #6
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Default disney store

I think that if Walton's heirs write a new book, it should be called "Made in China" <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/Wilk.gif" border="0" align="middle">. Personally I avoid Walmart. Their prices aren't that good, and definitly not worth the hassle of shopping there. I also dislike how they say they support American businesses, but 90 percent of the stuff they sell is made in China. Also that they ripped the heart out of small towns everywhere.

Thus endith the rant!

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Old 08-23-2000, 01:28 PM   #7
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Default disney store

I think the difference is in the "shock value". I felt the same way when I went to buy my LS2. Everyone at the dealer seemed laid back and really wanted me to feel welcome. I guess it is so different from other car dealers where you have to count your fingers and wash after shaking hands and shower and burn your clothes when you get home!!!! By the way, I don't go to WallyWorld either! I also think they destroyed the fabric of small town America.

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Old 08-23-2000, 04:13 PM   #8
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Default OT: Wal*Mart/Home Depot/CVS

Playing the devil's advocate (whilst I don my flame-proof suit)...

If the people in the small towns had not shopped at the Wal*Marts/Home Depots/CVS drug stores, then the fabric of small town America would not have been "destroyed". The small town general store and the main street hardware store and the corner Rexall drug store would still be cranking along. When the Mega-Lo-Marts (isn't that the name from <i>King of the Hill</i>?) come in, the easiest way to get them back out is to not shop there. Of course, your neighbors have to like the idea of paying more for less selection and not shop there also.

I realize that price is not always the final determining factor. Hell, most of us bought Saturns at their one-size-fits-all price. Having in-laws that work for GM gets us the employee price, but a discount on a Saturn is not as big as what I got on my Chevy or my Pontiac.

If you get the service, selection and price you want from Wal*Mart/Home Depot/CVS then good. If not, find another place to shop. Let your dollars walk away. The way the Saturn dealers have made inroads has been with their service. At least most of them have (Sorry Craig and djenning). I've started to ramble, so...

You may now return to your regularly scheduled Saturn discussion.

Still wearing the flame-proof suit...

Diggs

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Old 08-23-2000, 10:16 PM   #9
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Default disney store

No need to apologize since you qualified your statement "The way the Saturn dealers have made inroads has been with their service. At least most of them have (Sorry Craig and djenning). "


Interesting I am still getting hits on my website from GM. Guess they are just checking up on me, or maybe seeing if I removed the downloadable TV interview/ audio file.

I like the greeter at Walmart. I can ask them where to find a particular item BEFORE I start looking all over the store like Sherlock Holmes.

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