At this risk of sounding snooty
and maybe even a little superficial, I’m going to post this anyway.
I like clothes. I love to shop. If I walk into a “boutique” to buy pricey clothes, I expect to have some customer service. Actually, I expect to have good customer service.
First and foremost, when someone walks in, greet them! Greeting them involves more than spouting off a memorized greeting from behind the desk, register, or computer. Greet as if a best friend or close family member just walked in. Get excited; take an interest. A small boutique can’t afford not to build relationships. Nordstrom can sell those lines a lot cheaper (plus, a lot of their sales people work on commission, so they talk to you). Put a little effort into it. I walk into too many super cute boutiques and get absolutely no greeting. I walk through, make sure there isn’t anything I can’t live without, and walk right back out.
Sell the product. Nice things are in the boutique for a reason. Tell me about those reasons. Suggest something I might not have seen; the associate should know the floor better than I do, I’m sure I missed something. Put things that coordinate, are similar, or match in the fitting room (that is offered to me before I lug a ton of clothes around the store) for me. Chances are, not everything I pulled off the rack the first time will work; it’s nice to have options. Again, the key here is interaction. Relationship building. Find out what I’m looking for, where I’m going, what I need. Pull things that fit the criteria as options, not as high pressure sales mechanisms. High pressure doesn’t get you anywhere, either.
This can be done. I have a place or two who are really good at it. I don’t expect everywhere to know me by name, but at least pretend like you’re glad I’m there. Especially when I walk in and the store is completely empty.