Trying To Explain “Online” To Them Turns Them Offline

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2021

I always thought the online part of online shopping was self-explanatory, but I guess not. My store offers online grocery shopping. We never have and never will be able to process orders over the phone. The closest we come to phone orders is if you call us and add one or two things to your existing online order.

We have this one lady call us five or six times one day asking if we would do an online order over the phone. We always say no, but unfortunately, either one of my coworkers or a manager tells her we do take add-ons over the phone. She calls back, and I answer this time.

Customer: “So, you do orders over the phone.”

Me: “No, you have to go online and place your order. There is no way for us to process orders over the phone.”

Customer: “But someone I spoke with earlier said if I call in, you would do it over the phone if I had an existing order.”

Me: “No, that’s not—”

Customer: “So, I found an old order with only two things in it and placed that for tomorrow morning, so I want to give you my list now. Grab a pen, because it’s a lot.”

Me: “No, that’s not how it works. You have to go online if you want your order. We cannot shop orders over the phone.”

Customer: “But [Pizza Place] does it!”

Me: “They’re a totally different business with a different business model. They were around before the Internet became what it is now. They are set up to take phone orders; we are not. Our online shopping is closer to [Major Online Retailer #1] or [Major Online Retailer #2]. They can’t take phone orders, and neither can we. If you want us to shop your order, you have to go online.”

Customer: *Whining like a child* “But I don’t want to go online. That’s too much work.”

Me: “We also have an app and you can use that to place your order.”

Customer: “I don’t want to download another app.”

Me: “I understand, but we will not shop your order over the phone.”

Customer: “You won’t?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Is your store still open twenty-four hours?”

Me: “No, we recently changed our hours. The store opens at 5:00 am, but the earliest online pickup slot is 10:00 am.”

Customer: “I walk with a cane, and I can’t do my shopping unless I have one of those scooters, but they always seem to be in use. I either have to come in at five when no one else is there, or you can take my order over the phone.”

Me: “It is literally impossible for me to take your order over the phone. I’m sorry, but that’s the way our system is set up.”

Customer: “I guess I’ll come in at five, then, since you’re no help.”

Me: “Would you like me to cancel the two-piece order you placed?”

Customer: “No, just shop it, and I’ll come back for that.”

I texted the next day’s opener and gave them a heads-up about this lady. After I left, she called the store two or three more times to try and get us to shop her order over the phone. Someone must’ve gotten through to her, since this lady did come in sometime early the next morning, did her shopping, and then came back for her two items later. You placed a two-piece order! Just add stuff to your cart before you checkout!

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