Biggest pet peeves in customer service from the other side of the cash register

On Monday, I shared with you a few of my biggest pet peeves in customer service as a consumer.
I know my post was very one sided, so I thought I would share with you some thoughts from my experience on the other side of the cash register.

1. Get off your cell phone
I worked retail before the days of cell phones, but believe me, as a consumer,
I have seen more than one customer in line on their cell phone expecting to get help.
How can the customer service employee engage you if you are already engaged on your phone?
If they have a question for you, how do they know you are answering them?
I understand that lines are long and that it gets boring waiting, but get off your phone!

2. Someone has to rehang that or put it away
I went shopping with a friend in college once to Old Navy.
This friend loaded up on clothes to take into the dressing room and as she was done trying on the clothes, she left them in a pile on the floor.
The clothes don't rehang themselves, actual people have to do that, and quite honestly, most people working retail just don't get paid enough to clean up your messes.

3. The customer is not always right
I think that some people take the old adage "the customer is always right" to think that they can destroy, manipulate and generally ignore any normal rules because they will always be right.
There are store policies written down on the back of receipts, on banners over the door and at the front desk.  

4. Don't take advantage of the store policy
This goes along with number 3.
I've heard of people returning the original box of expensive electronics filled with rocks to Costco, in an attempt to trick the customer service workers.
I've known people to wear out jeans and take advantage of Nordstrom's very forgiving return policy.
The store isn't making money on you, and it's costing the rest of us.

5. Be kind
Just because someone is wearing a name tag and a uniform doesn't mean that it's their policy that you disagree with.  
Most of the time the employees that you deal with are just following the rules.
There is no need for you to get upset with them.
As they say, "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

As the holiday season approaches, keep these things in mind to make your shopping experience more enjoyable.

It's been awhile since I have worked customer service or retail.
Do you have anything you would add?

4 comments

Liz Luscomb said...

Oh my, the stories I could tell you! I agree with what you wrote; that customer service reps have to follow rules. Here are two examples from my time as a cashier at Walmart years back.

My first customer when I started the job was purchasing beer. It is mandatory in our state/store to card EVERYONE and enter their DL #. The guy was obviously old enough to buy beer but when I asked for his ID and he realized he didn't have it on him, I told him I couldn't sell him the beer.

He then began to yell and cuss at me. (heavy on the cussing) Then he took his hair gel out of the bag, threw it at my head (I caught it, don't worry) threw a wad of cash at me and left.

Then, on the flip side, I've had WONDERFUL customers who told me thank you for doing such a thankless job. I had customers who went out of their way to find my boss and tell them that I was the best cashier they have ever had. And some who took the time to know my name and actually talk with me at the register. How you treat others is always a reflection of how you are in life. And of course, treating others with kindness is a reflection of Christ. ;)

You chose a good topic to discuss!

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

I used to manage a retail store for a Big corporation. One Vice president decided to WOW the customer by assuming the customer was Always right. We lost $1 Million in one quarter. We didn't have stupid customers. I was forced to sell a product to a customer who I Knew was giving me a bad check. We were forced to give the store away and it was so demoralizing to my staff. I finally told my boss that I wasn't going to WOW the customer,but go for a win-win situation. Well, the VP retired to his macadamia farm in Hawaii and we were left to pick up the pieces. I'm so happy I'm retired. Working with the public is so difficult and I respect all who do that job.

Carolyn said...

I totally agree with everything you said, especially the part about following the rules. had more than one customer yell at me because of the company return policy when I worked in retail, so frustrating. I did have some great customers, though, that took the time to email corporate and tell them that I was a great employee and go to my DM when she was in the store to say they came back because I was always so helpful. I hope, though, that I never have to work retail again.

lora said...
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