I went to buy a warmer jacket yesterday. For the record, the weather in Beijing is -13 degrees and on the ‘what does it feel like scale’ it is -22 degrees. It is F***ing cold. A cold that you don’t experience too often and a cold that I am not used to, even though I am from Scotland. This is a cold that is like no other, it splits your body and claws at the very bones of you. It aches your joints and it is so cold it screws with your vision.
So, I wanted a new heavy coat. A longer coat that could cover a big part of my upper legs but didn’t make me look like a blue snowman. That kind of coat.
So I went shopping, which is not my favourite thing to do. I am not big on spending money, its my Scottish heritage and all that jazz. I am also lacking in excitement about the whole shopping experience as I often find that it is a mixed bag in China, or in many parts of the world to be exact.
Service levels in China can be, mmm, well variable and in my humble opinion, it is where there is a massive opportunity. However, from a retail perspective.. the country is very young and is learning fast and so there are times I am blown away by the great levels of service.
This was my experience when I went shopping for my new jacket. The service was outstanding. The staff seemed to understand that I was a freezing foreigner and they went out their way to find me suitable jackets. There was a wide range of jackets to try and in broken english they helped me to understand the heat benefits of each jacket.
There was a lot of smiles through the protective masks the staff were wearing (covid 19) and even though the store was busy, they gave me their full attention. They made me feel like they wanted to save me from the cold, like it was their mission.
The jackets were super expensive. The devil in me was saying just buy it. It was going to be a lifetime purchase, this jacket would last me forever. My inner voice, the devil, was telling me ‘I could afford it. It was fine, you love it… just get it’
My angel voice was nowhere to be seen. Muted.
The evil voice made me check the mirror over and over again, it did look great. It was warm. So damn warm. The devil was winning the debate for sure.
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint: The Usual Suspects, 1995
The sales staff kept giving me the details on how the jacket would keep me warm. They told me it would even protect me in the coldest part of the artic and how the company provide so much of their clothing to many charities that support famous expeditions.
It never felt like sales to them, it never felt like sales to me… it felt like we were all trying to get the best and most suitable choice for me and in turn they were sharing the excitement of what they do and what they stand for.
It was a moment of service joy… even though I will go back next week to actually buy, which they were absolutely cool with. They even suggested they keep the jacket to the side for me as a special request. I was honoured that they would do that for me. ViP treatment.
My wooly hat comes off to everyone in this company, they have done a magnificent job. They have demonstrated a great piece of trickery…
Convincing a sales team that they are not a sales team, but much more than that, so much so that they don’t believe they are a sales team..
They believe they are changing the world.