I'm prefacing the entry today in order to be clear. The following diatribe in no way reflects upon my LYS which absolutely ROCKS. My LYS is filled with kind, caring, enthusiastic and knowledgeable lovelies who would never act as the hypothetical yarn store does because they are also classy and customer-service minded. Shop with these guys and you can't go wrong. (see links for Sit N Knit--go Barbara go!)
HOWEVER, there exist some yarn stores ( a couple who are local to me who shall remain nameless, not to protect them, but to protect ME from THEM) that just do not get it. And we all have stores like this near us, so I am sure you can relate.
Most of you who know me know that I am a customer service freak. To the point that one truly bad customer service experience not only sets my tongue to wagging, but prevents me from further darkening the establishment's door. And this is the number one problem with a lot of these yarn stores, especially if you are a new knitter.
My knitting obsession is only two years old, so I still have lots of questions. And I find it reasonable to expect that with the amount of money I spend at a pop in a yarn store, there ought to be someone there to answer my questions in a friendly, even encouraging manner.
But you've all been to THAT store. The store where you walk in and just by the greeting (often lack thereof) you know what you are in for. I actually asked a question once of someone at a yarn store about a pattern or stitch (that lobotomy kicks in at the worst of times), and the response was "I knit CON-TIN-EN-TAL so I can't help you." Not, but I will find you someone who will or sorry, but I'm just not sure, but maybe so-and-so employee will know.
Or another friend who went into the same store and had the owner point out her "flaws" on her two-circ socks (flaws that would come out in blocking anyway for goodness sake. And pointed them out looking down her nose at said socks
So here's my message to you knitting store owners: WE ARE THE CUSTOMER AND WE CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU MAKE. Period.
If you want us to spend money in your shops, here are a few hints:
1) Stop treating us like the plague. And furthermore, stop treating our friends like the plague because we all have REALLY REALLY big mouths, and in a small community the word spreads fast that you are not so nice.
2) Hire people who have the stick removed from their butts prior to starting to work at your store. It's not helpful to deal with these fools and you aren't the only game in town anymore. Even the craft stores who used to have crappy yarn are your competitors, and by the way, there's this new thing called the Internet....
3) And speaking of the Internet, this is not where you want to end up as the subject of someone's blog because you have bad service and are uncaring.
I really hope that my readers will comment on this article. Please share your stories. Please forward to your friends to share your stories. Because this is public service time.
When a disembodied voice on a phone line has more personality than the owner of a yarn store, you know you are in trouble. When you have more personal contact with the eBay seller of yarn than your local yarn store employees, you know you are in trouble.
And, if you have a great story about a yarn store, please SEND ME THEIR NAME or website, and I will be more than happy to link them here so that we can all have the BEST possible knitting experience.
Knit hags unite!