Year of creation : 1992
Director : Cédric Klapisch
Main actors : Fabrice Luchini, Daniel Berlioux, Marc Berman, Olivier Broche, Antoine Chappey, Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Start : 8'42
End : 10'30
Length of the extract : 1'48
An obvious excerpt for anyone who leads or trains store sales teams in customer relations. The funny thing is that the salespeople I showed this excerpt to thought, "That's obvious! That's not us!" and at the same time, this clip is making its way into their heads. Who wants to look like these saleswomen? However, when you don't feel good, how can you avoid being bad at welcoming customers?
An old-fashioned and unwelcoming department store, where the staff works in a dilettante way, the Grandes Galeries is not doing well. Hence the decision of the managers to appoint a new CEO, whose mission will be to bring the store out of its slump, failing which it will be closed. Modern management methods and staff motivation are on the dashing director's agenda.
Before taking the reins of the store, Mr. Lepetit visits it and observes his future employees...without their knowledge!
What do you think of the reception of the customers in this scene?
How did the saleswoman get there?
What could be the reasons?
How can we avoid giving this kind of image to customers?
It is the holiday season. Two saleswomen attract Mr. Lepetit's attention: the example and the counter-example. The first is attentive and available to her customers. She answers questions if she is able to do so or directs customers to the appropriate services or locations. The intervention of foreign customers shows her goodwill: she is obviously not comfortable with English but still makes an effort to understand and respond to their request. Like her future boss, she looks at her colleague with a bad eye...
The saleswoman that the other two protagonists observe is obviously the counter-example, a caricature of ill will! It is her posture that says it all. It is even the reason why Mr. Lepetit's gaze stops on her and brings the focus! She is slumped on a shelf and seems to be daydreaming. It is the intervention of a customer that makes the spectator understand that she is part of the staff. The visibly impotent saleswoman answers her anyway, but in a mechanical way: she has clearly not listened to the question. She answers vaguely and without interest: "yes, yes, this one would look good on you." Nothing to do with the question she was asked: the customer is actually asking her to help him find a size 2... for his daughter! Not only does she answer out of turn, but she shows no drive in her answer. Captivated by the spectacle of her nails, she barely looks at the customer, mumbles and shows her good will by starting her sentence with :
The customer doesn't give up and tries to get her attention: she needs to be advised! When asked about the colors, the saleswoman who is supposed to accompany her just answers...always looking away.
That's when the first saleswoman intervenes to take charge of the customer and direct her to models that she may not have seen but that correspond to what she is looking for!
The excerpt is particularly instructive because it confronts the example with the counter-example! The first saleswoman apparently fulfills all the conditions for a successful reception. She observes, listens to the customers, directs them and does not hesitate to spend time with those who obviously need information. She shows interest in her customers who feel taken into account. Unconsciously, they are certainly more willing to buy.