University of ArizonaNorton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Dr. Sherry Lotz Featured in Wall Street Journal

How many times have you walked into a store, ready to buy—only to find no one there to help, or even take your money? Or could you see the sales associates but they couldn't seem to see you? Maybe they sized you up as a browser, not a buyer. Or did you find yourself working with a clueless associate, who wanted to be helpful but wasn't, or worse, a pushy associate who would have sold you everything in the store.

No wonder many shoppers actually try to avoid salespeople. A majority of shoppers in a small 2009 study said they won't go to stores to avoid bad customer service, according to researcher Sherry Lotz, associate professor of retailing and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona's John & Doris Norton School. A common concern was that salespeople "push" merchandise to earn commissions or achieve sales targets. The customers in the study "did not trust that the store personnel were acting in their best interest," Dr. Lotz says.

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