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56 The PCB Design Magazine • May 2014 A couple of months ago, I went into my local electronics shop to purchase some resis- tors for a hobby project. This store sells many things besides electronic components, so their employees are trained to upsell whenever pos- sible. As I made my way to the back of the store for my resistors, I noticed that the clerk behind the counter was trying to engage me. When I passed her, she practically leapt over the cash register in her efforts to reach me. She recklessly rounded the aisle where I was, lost her balance, and almost took me down with the nearby dis- play of merchandise. She was still not to be deterred, however, even after that near miss. A few moments later at the cash register, with my paltry pur- chase of a few resistors, she asked me how my cell phone quality was. I was still reeling from the near miss in the aisle and with my proj- ect waiting for me back at home, the last thing on my mind was my cell phone. So I told her, "Everything is fine." While skilled at taking my cash, she seemed unable to take my hint, and asked me if I needed a new cell phone battery. "No… ev- erything is fine," I reiterated as I collected my change and mentally rehearsed my escape from the store. I have thought about this encounter a few times since then, and I have come to realize that there is an important lesson to be learned here. Well, two lessons actually. But the first one is pretty obvious; don't go into these types of stores without sufficient armor to protect you from flying clerks. So let's move onto the sec- ond and more important lesson. This clerk was more intent upon making a larger sale than she was in pro- viding good customer sup- port. Now, I don't want to demonize this per- son; she was just doing the job that she was trained to do. As I pointed out earlier, she definite- ly put everything she had into it with "flying" gusto. But in her efforts to upsell me into a new phone or phone battery, she missed the opportuni- ty to sell me what I really by Tim Haag inTerCePT TeChnology TIM'S TAkEAWAYS column Customer Support: Not Just for Customers Anymore

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