President‘s Day weekend was full of activities for Cincinnati crafters including Archiver’s (Mason) weekend of free Make-It Take-Its. The three projects were attractive, designed to showcase products and techniques including stamps, embossing and die cutting tools, punches, embellishments and 3-D flower making. Customers were clearly excited about the event, as all three projects had lines the entire weekend. It appeared to be a great success, certainly by Archiver’s standards, as the event attracted lots of potential customers, with the opportunity to promote some great store products. However, appearances can truly be deceiving.
Not surprisingly, a lot of the women who attended the Archiver’s event attended another free Make It Take It at a competitor. Surprisingly, the Archiver’s event was the major topic of conversation. None of the comments were positive. The major complaints included long waits, standing at the workstations, and “selfish” customer behavior. All expressed frustration.
Brenda, Vicki, Dee and Joan all complained of long waits in line ranging from 30-45 minutes per project. Brenda said it took more than two hours to complete the three projects. Several commented on participants who selfishly dawdled through the crafts, “perfecting” their project and making extra components to take home, despite the long lines. Brenda complained of customers who brought inappropriately young children to participate. One woman apparently had five children with her, several under six years old. The ladies pondered why the projects were done standing up at counters and display tables when superior facilities were available in the workroom. Many also wondered why the lines were not managed better, perhaps assigning a number so customers could shop or sit in the workroom while waiting their turn.
Joan and Kathy experienced a different problem. Both have physical limitations which make it difficult for them to stand for extended periods of time. Kathy arrived early, before the lines were long. Upon assertively expressing her concern to the staff an attempt was made to accommodate her. However, the accommodation was separate and not equal. While she was able to complete all three projects, she was seated alone in the workroom, and given partially completed projects, as the tools, stamps and punches were needed at the established stations. She not only did not get to try out the products, she did not experience the fun social interaction with other crafters expected at these events.
Joan came at a busier time. She was told she could only be seated for the scrapbook page, because the station was adjacent to the workroom. She managed to stand in line through her preferred project, but left the store uncomfortable, frustrated and tired. One can only wonder how many others left frustrated, without completing projects, due to the long waits or limited accommodation for customers with physical limitations.
Archiver’s customer service was contacted regarding the latter problem. The complaint response indicated local management would be informed of the issue and requested to make improvements for future events.
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