Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This has nothing to do with poltics, but I had to get this off my chest.
Every year at this time you hear people talk about how rude retail employees are. While I agree there is some truth to that, but let's examine another perspective. Here are a few hints to make your Christmas/Hanukkah shopping experience a better one.
1. People don't work in retail simply because they are stupid. There are many reasons that people work retail that have nothing to do with levels of intelligence.
2. The employees don't set policy, they just follow it.
3. Yelling at staff really only makes you look foolish. In this economy retailers are bending over backwards to get your limited funds. Providing good customer service is a large part of this. Simply and calmly asking to speak to a manager will more than likely have the same result. Major retailers audit what staff is doing to prevent internal theft. The computer systems are designed that overrides have to be done at the managerial level. The staff is simply safeguarding their jobs.
4. When asking to speak to manager, remember that they have other responsibilities and other customer complaints to deal with. It may take a few minutes for them to get there. Be patient.
5. If a person gives you a business card in a retail environment, they are commission. Please keep that in mind when you start asking different people in the same department for help. This is how they get paid.
6. If you have coupons or need a gift receipt tell the person before they start ringing the sale. If you don't, they will more than likely have to start over.
7. Get off your cell phone before you start asking for assistance.
8. It is not their job to watch your children.
9. There are only two ways for retail outlets to lower overhead; cut staff and inventory. This will be part of the shopping experience this year. If you are looking for very specific items, waiting until the last minute may not be a good idea.
10. When you drop something on the floor or throw it in a random aisle somewhere, remember that someone has to clean that up. More than likely for the 10th time that day.
11. When trying to return something that you purchased a year ago, don't lie about it. The employees are familiar with the inventory of their departments. They will know that you are lying.
12. If it is a large department store they will not have detailed information about departments that they don't work in. If you are expecting them too, you are just going to get annoyed.
13. If you want to wait until Christmas Eve to go shopping, please remember the employees have families too. They are not allowed to take the day off. It is a day that all employees must work.
14. They raise sale prices when they give out coupons in the vast majority of cases. You really are not saving any money.
15. There is a reason why pets are not allowed in stores. Don't put your dogs in bags and strollers. People have allergies.
16. One last thing, if you do chose to yell and scream in a store, just remember that the staff will be laughing at you in the break room. It is a form of entertainment.
Enjoy your shopping experience and for those that have never worked retail, remember they are doing the best that they can in a job that is much more difficult than you may think.