Teavana -- If you don't want to buy something, too bad.
A lady on Teavana’s FB page just posted: "I’m a fan, yes. But, I have to say it was a bit disheartening to hear the Manager say: “Great! Thank God we hit our daily quota- whew!”"
I have only been to the Teavana here once (so far, I plan to go again later this week). They were really helpful about our tea questions and informative, but not pushy. The tea guy told us about the buy more, get a bigger discount deal, but he let it go as soon as he finished. I liked it there, but one trip doesn’t always tell you the whole story.
I’ve been once and I did get the routine of selling me more tea than I asked for and selling me the tin plus other extras, which I consented to, knowing I could say no. That being said the atmosphere was pressured and creepy and I really don’t want to go back – I will patronize the more mellow establishments in the area.
I’ve had several co-workers that worked part-time at Teavana, and there was definitely a lot of pressure to make big sales goals. When my friends worked there, it was cool – I’d just buy all my tea from them because they wouldn’t heckle me with upselling. Their coworkers would get used to seeing me with them, and wouldn’t bother to mention the upgrades, either. But Teavana’s high turnover rate meant that after a year, no one knew me anymore, and the constant “Try this instead, get a bigger size, here’s the tin!” got really annoying. I haven’t gone in for a long time.
They are pretty pushy in the store near me… but, I think it really depends on the employee. A few of them bug the hell out of me, and I end up just leaving without browsing too much, but I will admit that a very friendly and knowledgeable guy my age talked me into the cast iron tea pot that really got me into tea this time around.
But, yeah… I don’t like their tactics, and while I’ve never heard anything about the way they treat their employees, working in retail, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it takes to get people that sales-driven…
Made a trip to Teavana today for a second look at the shop and employees. I was not impressed! When I was making a small purchase one of the employees wispered (loudly) Oh God! that lady is just walking around and does not even want to purchase anything (What A Waste! I bet she doesn’t even have any money!)
Then another lady entered the store and asked about a tea and the same employee turned to another clerk and said “will you wait on her please, she has too many questions for me!”
I felt hurt that people were treated like that! I wanted to tell the employee being so rude, she needed to learn some manners.
As for the 1st quote you heard, you should report the employee to the supervisor/manager… if this gasp was the supervisor/manager, then get the name and contact info for the person above them.
As for the 2nd… it impresses me when an employee hands off a customer who has questions that are above and beyond what the original employee can handle rather than just trying to fake it, but sadly I have a feeling this wasn’t the case.
It’s interesting because even though most of us have had bad experiences in Teavana, my local store is always packed, and I assume that their business model is making them money, even though many customers may not return.
I haven’t worked in retail so I really don’t know whether the high pressure sell or a lower-key more customer-focused attitude is the way to make the big bucks.
My wife and I went into a new Teavana that just opened close to our house. You could tell the employees were fresh out of training because they were all in full-on used car salesman mode. We know the few teas we like from Teavana, so the up-sell doesn’t work on us which really irritates them.
If you ever want to watch a Teavana employee’s head explode, ask them a question that isn’t in their script. When I asked one of them the origin of one of their black teas, her answer was “I don’t know, it’s just black tea” and she turned her back on me in a huff.
I live 100 miles from any shop dedicated solely to tea. I would love the opportunity to have to ignore high pressure salespeople. On the otherhand, knowing my lack of a filter, it would probably not take me long before I let one of them have an earful.
I feel your pain K S. I know it’s a lil different, but the nearest place that serves matcha to me is an hr away. While I enjoy going into them on the rare occasion I do, I really don’t wish for B&M shops, I’m used to buying online… Although I wish there were more B&M places that sold teaware beyond the basic kettle ‘n’ stuff.
I go in to look at sale items, and I have to admit that our store has mellowed out some. If you engage them, they throw in some tea propaganda. But they are not getting the numbers they used to. Their chatter is more like that of a rambling three year old. You let them know you are paying attention, but you don’t think they are genuineness. (yes I know that from the mouths of babes can come profound wisdom, but that is not what I am talking about)