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I've been debating on using an auto greeter for my shop. One that just says welcome and maybe gives a link to join the group in chat. I don't necessairly want to use one that gives tons of pop-ups or notecards, etc because some people don't appreciate that, or it turns them off.

Do you use them for your business? If so, what made you decide to use one? If you don't have them, what is your reason for not using them? How do you feel when you go places that have them?

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Sorry, but personally, I hate the things...they are a nuisance.  I feel I'm smart enough to LM the place if I like it and anticipate a return or if I want to join the group myself.  All the ones I come across, I don't even read them...just ignore or close :(

I'm do not own a business, but I am a consumer, just my opinion...

 

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I did use them before, but many regard it as spam and my visitors went down. This was 2008. They are very unpersonal and a huge annoyance because as a visitor you are drawn out of your own play. The same for auto LM's, notecards, drop down menus... they are uuggh. Not what you want when you come over for a play. And i agree that i am smart enough to understand i am welcome and i can take my own LM's et cetera.

But many shop owners like them for their own play i know. But beware of mixed reactions.

What i do today is heaving my pic on my counter, so ppl can see the face behind the shop and see if i'm online or not. It is more friendly i would say.

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There have been several posting in the forums over the past year on what customers hate most when they shop.  At the top of this list is Automated Group Joiners and Automated Landmark Givers...aka Auto Greeters.

I have a pledge that I post in my store NOT to do this.  Consider this, you are asking people to join your group before they have even seen what you have.

I suggest a well marked and easy to find sign as well as some gift incentive to motivate people to join your group.  Landmarks can be placed into their purchase and do not need to forced on your customers.

If you do every else right, the rest will follow and you don't need to spam visitors.

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A greeter with a simple welcome message and maybe a statement of who to IM if you have a question or problem is fine. Giving me a bunch of stuff or asking me to join the group is annoying. I just hit ignore automatically and decline all offers.  If I want to join the group I look for a group joiner in the store itself. 

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i do have an auto greeter of sorts it came with my subscribe-o-matic it just lets people know they can touch the subscriber and get any updates i may send out thankfully the greeter pop-up doesn't come up every time upon entering the shop it stores a certain number of names and or visits before it resets the count. 

in other stores i don't mind a pop-up or local chat announcement or two with the excption of automatic LM givers if i want an LM i'll make one at my own convenience. but what really grates my wick is any time i've tp'd to a certain well know gaming establishment your bombarded with about 50 pop-ups countless local chat announcements and some stupid device constantly telling you your lagging the sim and to remove all scripts or you'll get booted lol a few av's wearing scripts aren't going to make much difference to a sim already lagged to death by shed loads of gaming machines and the other scripted garb they use.

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I will not use an automated greeter in my shop.  I figure that any customer smart enough to walk in the front door is going to be put off by a mechanical, insincere greeting and is going to walk right back out again.  My "greeter" is a little silver bell next to the door that rings gently, once, as a customer walks in.  That's it.  I have sold that silver bell to many other shop owners, but have no idea how their customers respond to it.  None of MY customers have ever let me know either.

I display a small, discrete sign to invite people to join the shop's group, and I include an invitation and an LM with any purchase.  Other than that, the only automated system I have is a silent traffic counter that gives me a weekly number of visitors (no names or UUIDs).

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Rolig Loon wrote:

I will not use an automated greeter in my shop.  I figure that any customer smart enough to walk in the front door is going to be put off by a mechanical, insincere greeting and is going to walk right back out again.  My "greeter" is a little silver bell next to the door that rings gently, once, as a customer walks in.  That's it.  I have sold that silver bell to many other shop owners, but have no idea how their customers respond to it.  None of MY customers have ever let me know either.

I display a small, discrete sign to invite people to join the shop's group, and I include an invitation and an LM with any purchase.  Other than that, the only automated system I have is a silent traffic counter that gives me a weekly number of visitors (no names or UUIDs).

I have heard a bell in shops and think it adds a touch of nostalgia...I love them, they always make me smile when I hear one :)

 

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Not for the first or the last time either I'll go against the grain of the thread.

I love auto greeters.

I find them an essential part of the customer support process. Took me a while to find the one that was just right, flexible and easy to customize. Now I can say hello to all my guests even when I'm not there and I can point them  in the direction of key corners of the sim, with a pop-up teleport board saving them hours crawling through the lag swamps when the grid is running slow. An auto greeter often also tells them there is a group. Thus saving guests from having to play an annoying time wasting game of hunt the group join poster.

It also  helps inform customers of special deals and promotions which is no bad thing because believe me no matter how well crafted a written poster is and how well placed it is  near to or beside a landing point - most folks in SL don't take time to read. I've lost count of the times the customers have IM's me complaining that I didn't have a poster announcing this or that only for me to TP in and show them that they were standing right next it.

"Aw my camera was pointed the other way" is the usual refrain "why didn't you make it "bigger than 3 metres" or smaller so "I can see what it says when I satnd back"

When a business owner goes to the trouble of setting up a greeter that has 'useful' resources attached. It sends me a reassuring unsaid signal that they are serious about business and want to help me find my way through new environment.

If I liked the place and return to the sim second time around I just mute the greeter. No hassle easy done.My own greeter even offers a mute button for folks convenience.

I know a lot of folks hate them and find them the work of the devil himself and consider them to be  unholy spam. However there are just as many who appreciate their value as a means of customer support and  communication.

And if a  potential customer doesn't like the way I've set up shop and they decide  not to come back, that's their personal choice it's a big world and you can't  organize your store in a manner that will please every single person.

So my answer for you is to do what you feel is right for your business and your customers and that could very well include an auto greeter or may prefer to offer your guest the silent treament :-)

 

^L^

 

 

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I don't like them as a customer and so I don't use them as a merchant. I will click off the auto greeter, look around and then create my own LM if I want to return. I really think it's a thing that some merchants like and hardly any customers do. Merchants who use them will defend them, of course they would.

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I use my own visitor greeter that's configurable to do as much or little as desired.

I personally don't like anything that makes me click a blue box when I arrive somewhere, so I just have it set to give a private greeting and info in the local chat window ("Communication products to the right; business scripts to the left. Catalogue available from the sign near door", etc) and give a link to my profile so people can easily contact me with any questions. It also sends me an IM when they arrive (including their profile link in case I want to IM them) and records a visitor list that it emails to me when full.

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Lasher Oh wrote:

Not for the first or the last time either I'll go against the grain of the thread.

I love auto greeters.

I find them an essential part of the customer support process. Took me a while to find the one that was just right, flexible and easy to customize. Now I can say hello to all my guests even when I'm not there and I can point them  in the direction of key corners of the sim, with a pop-up teleport board saving them hours crawling through the lag swamps when the grid is running slow. An auto greeter often also tells them there is a group. Thus saving guests from having to play an annoying time wasting game of hunt the group join poster.

It also  helps inform customers of special deals and promotions which is no bad thing because believe me no matter how well crafted a written poster is and how well placed it is  near to or beside a landing point - most folks in SL don't take time to read. I've lost count of the times the customers have IM's me complaining that I didn't have a poster announcing this or that only for me to TP in and show them that they were standing right next it.

"Aw my camera was pointed the other way" is the usual refrain "why didn't you make it "bigger than 3 metres" or smaller so "I can see what it says when I satnd back"

When a business owner goes to the trouble of setting up a greeter that has 'useful' resources attached. It sends me a reassuring unsaid signal that they are serious about business and want to help me find my way through new environment.

If I liked the place and return to the sim second time around I just mute the greeter. No hassle easy done.My own greeter even offers a mute button for folks convenience.

I know a lot of folks hate them and find them the work of the devil himself and consider them to be  unholy spam. However there are just as many who appreciate their value as a means of customer support and  communication.

And if a  potential customer doesn't like the way I've set up shop and they decide  not to come back, that's their personal choice it's a big world and you can't  organize your store in a manner that will please every single person.

So my answer for you is to do what you feel is right for your business and your customers and that could very well include an auto greeter or may prefer to offer your guest the silent treament :-)

 

^L^

 

 

This has been my experience --  people just don't see signs or even teleporters (and yes I make the textures so they rez quickly).  When I added the drop down* so they could subscribe by clicking a button, my mailing list began to grow very quickly -- and I consider being on that list a significant perk to my customers, as I give a nice gift every week and announce new releases which usually are at an introductory price for a short time. To be honest, I am more concerned about providing this benefit to my customers than I am of offending people who hate drop downs.  I guess that means my clientele is composed entirely of people who don't particularly hate drop-downs. :-)  But as you say, you can't please everyone -- you have to do what you believe to be the best way to serve your customers.

 

* The drop down appears after about a minute so those who tp in and click the tp board quickly (because they have been in the store before)  usually don't get them.

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Perhaps it's not as clear cut as yes or no...

If you have a huge shop with many areas, helpful information for the customer in local chat (my preference) or via dialog menu (not that keen because I have to click something) can be an asset. 

With a tiny shop, a well placed sign with information that you touch for landmark, group joiner, link to Marketplace and perhaps who to IM in case of queries may be less intrusive on people's SL experience.

What I'm definitely not keen on is being given a landmark automatically.

@ Rolig, made me smile to think of your little bell !

 

Emma :) 

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I've thought about them, but since I don't like them as a shopper, I don't want to subject my customers to something that I don't like myself. I've got group joiner signs visible in the store, and even though I think my group membership is smaller since I don't actively "recruit", the people who do join are the ones who really want to. Everything is a tradeoff, but for me and my store and my customers, I'd rather lean towards a "quiet" shopping experience.

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I do without auto greeters or groups or advertising. Funny enough, we are stiill growing. Maybe if I had all these frills we would grow faster, but I don't want to.

My business plan when setting up was to have a kind of no frills bargain basement shop, like a big junk yard or warehouse. The type of place you go to that maybe nobody else knows about and you hunt around for that good deal, you find it and tell your friends. If you catch the owner lurking around there working on something in his sweaty tank top and old dirty jeans and boots there is a good chance he will discount the price even further. That is what I want my shop to be.

Nothing fancy here, just a no frills place with tuff old stuff you might like to take home for a good price.

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I think all of us that take our businesses seriously try to do what we think best serves the customer -- and that will be different for different businesses, because a "greeter" will have different purposes and benefits for each store, depending on what information it provides, and the stores themselves will be very different. In some, the benefit (to customers) will outweigh any negatives and in others it will not. (And of course if you personally hate greeters the negatives will be more likely to outweigh benefits than if you don't care or if you like them.)

The bottom line is to serve our clientele in the best way possible.

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As a customer, I click them away while cursing under my breath, and never remember what they say. I also spend a minute at the landing point, looking about while rezzing. It takes me a while to know if I need a landmark, and so I'll make my own before leaving, or join any subscribers.

As a merchant, I have a clear welcome area, with a friendly-looking piccy of me, holding a clickable sign. So if anybody needs anything (landmark, group membership, link to blog, information notecard, link to Marketplace) they can get it easily. It's up to the customer to opt in; I just make it available.

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As a customer I'll click the ignore button instantly, so as a merchant I won't use them either. It's just a nuisance.

Now, without intently hijacking Verwood's but on a similar subject. I have been pondering the use of a mailbox, something to send news on very sporadic occasions like for announcing an update.

I don't use a store group or the subscrib-o-thingy. I like to stay out of my customers hair as much as I can. :smileytongue:

A mailbox would send only what information (notecard/message/object) I wanted and to my precompiled list of customers.

Although I have mixed feeling on this because getting a random blue message offer (or worse, pilled up upon ones log in) can be just as aggravating to some, as the greeter? Thoughts anyone?

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Messages to your group are different from greeter messages.  At least people have opted IN to your group.  If they don't want to receive group messages, they can opt out again.  I opted out of one shop's group not long ago when I decided that it had become too spammy for my taste.  I figure that customers in my own shop can do the same if they have second thoughts about joining my group. 

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Harm Xue wrote:

As a customer I'll click the ignore button instantly, so as a merchant I won't use them either. It's just a nuisance.

Now, without intently hijacking Verwood's but on a similar subject. I have been pondering the use of a mailbox, something to send news on very sporadic occasions like for announcing an update.

I don't use a store group or the subscrib-o-thingy. I like to stay out of my customers hair as much as I can. :smileytongue:

A mailbox would send only what information (notecard/message/object) I wanted and to my precompiled list of customers.

Although I have mixed feeling on this because getting a random blue message offer (or worse, pilled up upon ones log in) can be just as aggravating to some, as the greeter? Thoughts anyone?

I think it comes down to a decision based on your notions of good customer service.

I have my subscriber group, who are notified of any new products, special offers, etc, as they have requested.

And I automatically mail out any new versions of products to existing owners.

But I also have (infrequent) occasions when I will notify all owners of a certain product of something new that is designed to work with their existing product, or a new product that does a similar job, only with expanded features. If appropriate, I'll create a special offer for existing owners, eg, to get the price of their original purchase off the new, expanded product.

I'll sometimes also contact current owners while I'm working on a new version, asking what they do and don't like about their existing product, and what features they'd like to see.

I've never had any negative feedback about this, in fact what I do hear is that my customers appreciate being kept informed of new things that they may find useful (and appreciate the discount offers), and like knowing that their feedback is considered in product development.

I take the attitude that it's not just about making sales, but about helping customers and building relationships.

Of course, it depends on the type of business you're in too - only you know your own customers and what's going to be relevant to them. My customers are predominantly business people, and the things I make help them make money, or make their lives easier, so chances are that any new product release of mine will actively help them. I'd rather annoy the odd person with a single mouse click, than have a whole lot of people saying "I wish I'd known about that."

But I'm also careful to be generous as well - updates are free and upgrades are discounted. There's nothing worse than buying an expensive product, then finding out there's a new version that you'll be expected to pay full price for, with no recognition of the money you've already spent. There are a few places I'll never shop again, because of that experience in the past.

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