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Question It can't just be me can it?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Puppiesonacid, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We use gentle redirection to steer them away from this sort of thing. Since we have a visualization system and a POS, we say "Here, let us print out a picture of the mockup for you... or would you rather have us email it to you?". As for their taking down part numbers, we quickly whisk the samples away to the POS and work up the quote. We then say "It's okay, we've got all the information here in the system. When you're ready we can pull up the quote and turn it into an order". This makes it rather awkward for them to say "but, but, we want the part numbers!"
  2. Candy

    Candy SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have to say that I have had one of the worst and she keeps coming back!!!! Everyone else runs but she loves to see me and I love to see her. She always drops $200 to $300 every time she comes in.
  3. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    For all the talk about nightmare customers, the truth is, they are few and far between in this industry. Framing is a happy business and our customers are primarily upbeat, creative souls who are shopping for a treat.

    Sure, we like to dramatize and laugh about the occasional customer from #### as it makes for a good read, but they're a rarity. Customers buy framing because they want to, not because they're transmission died or they're toilet overflowed.
  4. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If you find that is a real problem, you can remove all the part numbers and names from your samples, and use a bar code scanner to identify the items in your POS program.

    This nearly always works, but you need to develop a sixth sense about the timing. As soon as she looks at the back of a sample, get it away from her. If she resists your moves or persists in looking at the numbers, or if she pulls put a camera-phone, pummel her with your 4-ft. wooden ruler.
  5. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Also consider confirmation bias. We're in a thread talking about difficult customers, so naturally we're going to forget the 95% of customers who are nice or at least polite, and only remember the few who are jerks. And then suddenly we have nothing but the rude jerks as customers.
  6. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Punish her in the pocketbook. See if you can get that number up to $250 or $350.
  7. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I know that to be true, but hey, sometimes that one PITA customer really gets to you and that's why we like to vent and fume here.

    I try to take it all with a good deal of humor,but I'm only human too!!!
    I haven't had the problem with people taking down numbers. I'll have to keep that ruler near for just in case....:D
  8. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Framers who show a Price Per Foot on the back of samples will have more of this as it encourages price shopping. Using a letter code, or a coded price helps reduce this.

    Lets face it, we're all human and sometimes someone pushes our buttons the wrong way.
  9. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't have a price per foot on any of my mouldings, am curious now how many of you do?
  10. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's usually what they are looking for. Next is the frame number. When I see it, I ask if they'd like me to write it up for them? Then, after I do, I tell them it will be on file for two weeks. I don't think we should ever do the design work for our less-skilled competitors.

    BILL WARD SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Then they always say, "I'll go get it - it's in the car."

    anyone make a habit of asking these people "why did they NOT just bring it in in the 1st place"??????? aven if they/you see something they might actually like they'd STILL have to go get it(and the chance of their changing mindsets/leaving increases greatly thereby).
  12. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Bill... it should be obvious. If they bring in the artwork then they feel more "trapped" with a sense of obligation. They need to feel comfortable in the environment.

    If I got out of framing and needed something framed I might do the same thing... check out a place before I brought in anything with me.
  13. Candy

    Candy SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Naw, as mean as she appears on the outside, there is something deep down inside that needs some love. She has literally been my best all time customer ever. She has spent thousands in my shop, usually comes in every three or four months. She is very elderly and in poor health. Probably why she is such a PITA, but that is okay. I like to hear her stories about her youth. She had her wedding picture framed and she was a beautiful woman. I can visualize her a happy young girl dancing down the streets of Paris, on a gondola in Venice, or as a model in New York or France. I can see her as a young woman on a flight from the US to Holland meeting the young man that has grown old with her.

    She is the one that brought me a set of 6 original canvases dated 1710 and allowed me to frame them. There was no story, and I was not allowed to photograph them. I know there is a story, but she wasn't giving it up. Her husband was in Dutch New Guinea during WWII. I framed the grass skirt that he traded for a pack of cigarettes.

    She is a very colorful character, but one very ornery old lady and I have come to love her.
  14. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    More often than not, under a rough and gruff exterior, there lies a heart of gold.
  15. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

  16. PicturedFramer

    PicturedFramer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Wow, what a customer. She has my vote for loyalty, and VIP status.
    Take good care of this person and she will do likewise.
    By all means do whatever it takes to keep her happy even when she isn't to you. You are very fortunate to have a great relationship with her.:smiley:

  17. Candy

    Candy SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Right now, I am sitting in my little sewing room making a Christmas ornament for her on my embroidery machine. I am sure she will find something wrong with it, but deep down she will enjoy it. :D
  18. echavez123

    echavez123 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Dave this is pure wisdom, and I bow in reverence to those words.

    I had a female Persian customer,wearing a black scarf come in to our store and asked a few questions, prodding for prices. Then, she went out to her car and brought two huge black fabrics with gold embroidered Arabic printing. I quoted her $900 to mount & frame the two fabrics. She thought about it for a while, and looked skeptical. She also seemed a bit nervous while trying to make a decision. So, I asked her if she had compared prices already. She said "No". And then said, "I dont shop based on the price, I shop with people I trust. And I feel I can trust you." She placed the order and paid 1/2 as a deposit.

    The point is that during our conversation leading up to the quote, we talked about the significance of the lettering of the artwork, which turned out to be religious, and I showed respect to her. Of course, I complimented the beauty of the fabric art and helped her pick matching frames. We also talked casually about other things. The conversation we had enabled her to trust me. She did not go to Michaels and she did not go to a competitor. We closed the deal.

  19. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes, that happened again yesterday.

    The couple came in empty-handed about noon, looking at the gallery models and the selection of mouldings, Like kids in a toy store...but kids who had never seen toys before. We talked, they asked what time we close, then they left.

    They returned with an Asian etching on handmade paper, spray-mounted to illustration board, probably in the 70s and cheaply framed against the glass - no mats or spacer. The adhesive had deteriorated and discolored the translucent art paper, but it easily peeled off the board. No obvious mildew or other damage.

    In about 90 minutes they looked at every possible combination of mats and mouldings and, about 10 minutes after closing time, made their final decision. I printed the Work Order and asked if they would like to the total of deposit half. At that point she said, "Oh, honey, go out and get the other two." Yes, it was a set of three etchings. :icon45:

    On the upside, the order value tripled in a flash.:D

    I forgot to mention that the reason it took 90 minutes for a design decision is that about 30 minutes after they brought in the art, the grandparents, another woman and three kids arrived to "help" them select the parts. :cry: Opinionated relatives, screaming kids, and indecisive buyers add up to total bedlam. But we got the order.:thumbsup:
  20. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Oooh, I hate it when people bring in design "helpers". Your scenario takes the cake, though. Hope you enjoyed some appropriate libations later that evening.
    ;) Rick
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