A Lesson from the Jeans Store

A Lesson from the Jeans Store

A disappointing experience of mine at a clothing store reminded me of the importance of an educated and informed staff.

Once again, I recently had an experience outside the auto body business that might give those of us on the inside a lesson we can learn from.

I was overdue for a pair of jeans. My favorite pair developed a small hole, which of course became a bigger hole threatening to reveal parts I would rather not. But hey, holey jeans or “distressed” jeans as they call them now are all the rage, right? Not.

So I went to a fashionable clothier in an equally fashionable outdoor mall where some patrons carry their miniature toy dogs around in oversized purses. I walked in and was astounded and flummoxed by the seemingly endless choices in the men’s jeans section: athletic, relaxed, boot cut, straight-leg, slim, skinny — gasp! I just wanted a normal pair of jeans that wouldn’t cut off my circulation. Besides, Gen Zers have made it explicitly clear that middle-aged men should not wear skinny jeans, lest you want to look like a sausage ready to explode from its natural casing. So, I settled on two pairs, one relaxed and one boot cut, to take to the dressing room.

As I headed in, a store employee followed me to unlock one of the rooms. Before she could escape, I asked her, “Hey, do you know the difference between relaxed and boot cut?”

“No, sorry,” she said sheepishly.

Honestly, I felt really bad for her. She was very timid and tentative and looked really young, and I guessed if it wasn’t her first day on the job, it was her first week. Hopefully she went straightaway to the manager to edify herself so she would be more informed for the next customer, but I doubt it.

It made me think: Do your employees who are the first point of contact with your customers know your suite of services in and out? Can they explain them in layman’s terms to the consumer? Can they answer any question the customer might have on the insurance claims process? Do they know the regulations in their state that govern the insurance and collision business? The more informed consumers are, the more informed decisions they can make regarding their second biggest investment — and the more impressed they will be with your staff. And you may just earn a customer for life. 

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