Monday, October 22, 2012

It can't be that hard can it?

I work in retail, as a manager, I obviously have a retail background going back for over 10 years and recently we started hiring a bulk lot of Christmas casual staff. While this was taking up a lot of my mind palace (my brain) I did what any self respecting woman would do on her lunch break in a large shopping centre, retail therapy time.

One hour later my purchases equated to zero and my blood pressure was through the roof. How freaking hard is it to get great (or even good) customer service these days.

After getting home and venting to the only other woman of legal shopping age in my house, my mother in law, we both realised that we had similar gripes.
Being greeted with a standard and automated "Hi, how are you?" With no personality or sincerity is frustrating to the customer after entering more than 3 stores in quick succession. The only thing worse is being ignored!

At risk at sounding up myself I have to say I rock at retail customer service! I'm cheeky, irreverent and slightly nuts at work but the number of compliments I have received in the short time I have been back in the work force says to me that many other people are frustrated with the lack of GENUINE interaction from retail attendants.

What's your biggest gripe with customer service? Any horror stories? Any amazing examples of GREAT service?

What advice should I offer to my brand new (mostly very young and inexperienced) Christmas casuals?

This is your chance to potentially influence a new group of customer service retail workers so essay comments are welcome if you have a lot to share.

Much love.



  1. I am currently writing a similar post!! There have been some shocking stories I have seen lately. You nailed it how hard can it be!!

  2. I seem to go into a lot of shops where they treat the customers like a nuisance, as if we're just going to mess up their carefully set up stock.

  3. I'm with kellie - I make a point to return and continually shop at stores where they have great service, regardless of how out of my way it is. Lorna Jane are a great eg of this in our area (can't comment on the others out of my area lol) to the point where they greet not only me, but Adam by name as well.... And upsell like pros!

  4. Well I guess with youngin's it's their carefree and sometimes careless attitude that shits me. You might get a grunt, or you might get ignored. We all had to start somewhere in our working lives and sometimes its not always in the most ideal of jobs, but you are still representing the business/organisation etc and a smile and polite hello is always welcome...that would be my advice. Cause I'm also a complainer - you shit me, I'll let your manager know too. And on the flipside I had some wonderful customer service from a young girlie at Coles the other day and so I took the time to get the manager called down so I could tell him how fab she was. I'm a total Scorpio - it's black or white and nothing in between hahahahaha xx

  5. I don't mind being greeted as I walk in the door, but can not stand staff that follow you around and continually ask if they can help you find something. I know this is part of what staff have to do, but it irates me no end. Or being ignored completely, if I am standing say in an electrical store wanting to know more information or actually buy something I usually have to hunt someone down to help me as they will avoid all eye contact. I know that might sound contradictory but to make it simple........ greet customer, ask if you can help with anything, then walk away if they are happy to browse, but always keep an eye out in case they do want to ask questions etc.


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