Speaking with the Grey market

04 Mar Speaking with the Grey market

Sitting at PC World waiting for my new computer to be set up (YAY!), I couldn’t help noticing how many older people walked in for some advice with their computers.  But the more I thought about it, a retail outlet is exactly where that generation would go when an issue arises with a product.
One women stood in hearing distance from me.  She had just bought her very first computer ever, and was feeling quite pleased with herself because she signed up to a computer course at the local school.  The problem was that her teacher mentioned that she can’t do much without Microsoft office installed.

I couldn’t help wondering why the original store  hadn’t told her that in the first place.
But I said nothing.

In the 2 hours that I sat waiting for my computer, I listened to this woman ask a several questions to the sales man.  The 22 year old guy was doing his best to answer her questions, but she couldn’t understand half the terms he was using.  Words like: gigabytes, RAM, USB ports, HDMI – to be honest, I have trouble keeping it all straight myself.  With each passing ‘high-tech’ word, she became more frustrated.

But the clincher came when the salesman casually mentioned that she couldn’t send emails without internet service…. which would cost her a further £20/month!  This is when she lost her cool.  Almost breaking into tears, she yelled with frustration, asking how she could have possibly spent all this money and up until this point, NOBODY  had mentioned this fact to her before!

I did step in at that point, even though I probably shouldn’t have, but being smack in the middle of their 2 ages, I had the advantage knowing the most understandable words for both.

This scenario begs the obvious question: why are the staff at PC World are not trained to speak to the older generation? From my day spent there, it seems that their Target Market is the ageing population.

Speaking with the Grey market will soon be important for every industry, it is time for all of us to consider the best communication strategies.

Thank you for reading,