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In customer service, be customer oriented

By Staff | Apr 13, 2015

Shopping is a fact of life that nearly all of us have to deal with-many on a daily basis. For some it is a joy, therapeutic in its entirety; to others, it is a chore hated above all others.

Regardless of whether you like shopping or hate it, once out there in the throes of checkout lines and customer service individuals, there is little more frustrating than a cashier that doesn’t speak to you.

Personally, I would find it impossible to conduct an entire transaction at a cash register in a “super store” (or any store for that matter), without speaking to the customer. But that is exactly what I experienced this week, and have experienced the same before, in the same unnamed super store.

As the cashier, a young woman (not a teen but not not a senior either) scanned all of my items, I waited for at least a “hello.”But that wait was in vain.

The sales person completely rang up my items and placed most of the bags in my cart (I did not volunteer to place them in the cart despite the ‘looks’ I received as the spinning carousel of bags filled up. (I was not in a self-checkout lane, therefore, the burden of putting bags in the cart falls to the cashier.)

At this point, I simply said to her “Congratulations. You completed this entire transaction without even speaking to me, the customer.” The look of “who cares” on her face and the excuse that “well, I just don’t feel good” left a little to be desired. Although amazed at the lack of customer service skills, I did not have the time to stand in line at the customer service counter to “complain.” My words likely would have fallen on deaf ears anyway; as I said, I have experienced this similar behavior at this same store on multiple occasions.

I guess the point of this ramble is that if one is in customer service, be customer oriented. Even if you don’t feel well, fake it. Put on a smile and say hello. Try to at least pretend that you care about the fact that you are waiting on and interacting with someone. While the jobs are often low-paying, take pride in what you do and do it well. When you do, an upward move is likely. With a negative outlook, negative behavior toward those who you serve in your job, you will not make it in a higher paying position.

management in business locations need to better train employees in customer service. A smile and ‘hello’ go a long way in getting repeat business.