Angela Simon: How to be a good customer
Like many people, I’ve had my bad customer service experiences, where I don’t get greeted or assisted, and want to wring the manager’s neck because he/she is ignoring me as much as the rest of the staff. However, having been in retail for over six years, I’ve seen some very bad responses to very good customer service attempts.
Technical difficulties: So your purchase is almost complete, when the cashier suddenly makes a weird face and goes to get the manager. Your quick purchase before work suddenly becomes a 30-minute ordeal. The manager comes over, and then picks up the phone to call the computer technicians.
For any of you who have experienced this, you know how terribly frustrating it can be. Due to the economy, most companies cannot afford to purchase new equipment, and registers break down almost daily in some companies. The staff is as frustrated as you, because, unlike you, they are dealing with this situation about five times a week. Please be patient with us, we are trying our best to assist you under the circumstances.
The Infamous Return Policy: So you went on a spontaneous shopping spree three months ago and just made it back to the mall where you bought the item. First of all, as a customer, it is important for you to know what the return policy is for. A return policy does not mean the quality of the clothing is bad, and it is also not there to be a big pain.
The policy is to protect the company from those individuals who wear an article of clothing for two months, get it covered in dog hair and God knows what else, and bring it back for some crazy reason. We really hate telling you, “we’re sorry but the item is non-refundable,” so maybe instead of trying to return that shirt your cat clawed, Good Will could use a donation.
The Information Request: There are many retailers who will ask you for information at the registers: first name, last name, address, zip code, email, or even signing up for credit cards. The important thing for the customer to realize is that the person asking you for this information despises it as much as you do. There is not a single person who works in retail that wants to ask you for your email address, nor do they want to steal your identity in the process. However, if they don’t ask you, they won’t have a job. So please be sympathetic, don’t curse at us, smile, and simply reply, “Thank you for asking but I don’t feel like signing up for anything today.”
Conclusion: We in retail appreciate any and all business, and no matter what, we will be there, underpaid, and still happy on our worst days, and thank-you to all those understanding, patient customers, who did not yell at us, even when they had every right to.
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