Measure Twice, Cut Once

The Importance of Product Testing

This is a letter from your customer re: product testing **. 

I looked to you for advice. I read your attribute signage. I believed you, I trusted you. And then…I got your product home. I ripped open the packaging and couldn’t wait to get them out [new curtains to be exact]. They looked perfect, as promised. I hung them with care and snapped pictures for Pinterest (they looked that good). I waited until the sunset so I could crawl into bed and for once, not be awoken by the harsh, glaring sun. That night, I slept so soundly…until 5 a.m. rolled around and the sun, again, rudely woke me from my slumber. “LIARS! CHEATERS!” I shouted. Heartbroken, I stepped over the curtain packaging (still on the floor) and retreated to darker places.

I would give it another night, and another. Hoping that perhaps it was all just a fluke. That my new beloved light blocking, noise canceling, cool-as-a-cucumber curtains would start working and I would return to sleeping beauty. A week had gone by and the bags under my eyes were becoming unbearable. I walked back to your store, curtains stuffed haphazardly into the packaging.

You took them back without question…and without a receipt. Thank you for that — good customer service! BUT…what you didn’t do is test your product. After returning the demon curtains, I strolled back through your curtain section. And there, the sign that started this all was still up as if to mock me: “Our Must-Have Blackout Curtains”. Writhing with anger (but chuckling none the less), I returned home and wrote this [newsletter]. Know your products. TEST your products. Don’t sign your products with false promises to try and move inventory. I know your tricks and they are way uncool.

Sincerely,

Sleepy

P.S. You did have some other great looking curtains but you lost my trust so I will be going elsewhere.

**Yes, this is in fact a true story. 

Here are a few tips to keep this from happening in your store.
  1. The store had signage. GREAT! We love a good sign. Crate & Barrel is a great example of using signage to highlight key features and benefits. It rocks.
  2. The store’s signage wasn’t truthful. This isn’t cool. If you are going to sign your product, make sure it is honest. And don’t always take your vendors word for product attributes. Test things out. Take them out of the packaging. Feel it. Taste it (if applicable).
  3. Don’t be a bystander in your store. Accept returns with a smile. As a #FriendofRetailConcepts, you know we really dislike return policies. Be honest with your customers and they won’t take advantage of you.

Thoughts? You know where to find us! Here