Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Customers

I firmly believe that every person, at some point in their life, should work in the retail and/or customer service industry. I know these positions don't always pay the best and I know that if you work for a retail company that you love (Hello Pier 1 Imports) you probably won't come home with any paycheck at all!

But the reason I believe everyone needs to work in retail/customer service is because it teaches you how to treat people.

I spent one summer in high school working for an insurance company making cold calls to people asking them if they would like a quote on their car insurance. I was screamed at, hung up on and I'm pretty sure I learned a few new potty words that year. People HATE tellemarketers and I would have to admit that I am still one of them, regardless of having held this position. BUT...I know that the people calling me on the phone are just doing their job so as much as it angers me to receive a phone call JUST as one of the kids falls asleep for nap time, I resist the urge to call that person a $%@*&# and politely say, "No thank you".

In addition to working at an insurance company, I have also worked for a dry cleaners (my very first job ever) and several retail stores. My longest retail job was in college and grad school when I worked for Pier 1 Imports. Let me tell is probably one of the best jobs I've ever had. I learned so much in those 6 years, but one of the most important lessons I learned was how to listen.

I can still remember something my old district manager said to me once. We were talking about wicker chairs (we were at Pier 1 after all) and he said, 

"If someone walks in and says "Hi. I would like to buy a wicker chair for my porch", any idiot can show this person to a stack of wicker chairs and give her exactly what she needs. But a really great employee will pick up on something that the average employee didn't. A really great employee will ask this woman about her porch. Does she sit on her porch to read a good book and sip lemonade? Does she sit on her porch while her grandkids ride bikes and play in the yard? LISTEN to her and find out what she wants because it is always more than just a wicker chair.

I realize this is a silly analogy, but I followed his advice those 6 years and really learned to listen to people. I also made sure to always be friendly, helpful, trust worthy and accommodating because that is exactly how I want to be treated when I shop somewhere.

And that, my friends, is exactly why my mom and I work so well together as a team...we both have the SAME work ethic. We love making people happy and we always take time to listen. I think maybe one of our favorite parts of running this new business is making friends with so many new people. Some days our Etsy convos and email exchanges seem more like a conversation between friends than a business transaction.

And that's how we like it!! Those conversations build relationships and inspire creativity and we are so grateful for them. We heart you all so much!!

And we hope you all heart us too. It always feels so wonderful when a friend takes the time to tell us that we are doing a good job, which is why I just need to give my BF Mandy a HUGE THANK YOU for writing such an amazing post about The Polka Dot Posie. It makes my mom and I so happy to know that people are loving and enjoying the things we are making.

And you know what else gets me giddy...seeing people post reviews on Facebook, or vlogging about our stuff, or posting pictures of themselves wearing our necklaces, etc. WE LOVE IT!!! Which is why we are starting a little "Photo Gallery" tab on The Polka Dot Posie blog so that I can display all the custom orders you guys have inspired, as well as display pictures of our FABULOUS customers :-) So if you have a picture we can add to our gallery...PRETTY PLEASE send it to us at thepolkadotposie{at}gmail{dot}com!!

Thanks so much to everyone who has made our first two months of business SO successful. And a BIG thanks to Mandy @ House of Rose and all the other fabulous friends and family members that have taken the time to share their love of our company :-)

I hope you all have a GREAT weekend!!!!


  1. That is a great analogy Jen! I like that, it's something that makes you think.


  2. And (as I have mentioned before) I LOVE YOUR SHOP!!!!!

    Luv ya!



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