CARLIE KOLLATH:Better customers usually get better service

My friends and I were talking the other night about times when we’ve been let down by customer service at various retailers.
One woman told about a time when a cashier talked on a headset attached to her cell phone while she checked out my friend.
I mentioned the two times I was in a dressing room and got locked in the store because the employees forgot about me and didn’t check the dressing rooms.
We all voiced our high expectations for customer service if we were going to part with our hard-earned money.
About that time, another woman piped up. She works as a sales representative at a popular retailer in the area.
She reminded us that customer service is a two-way road. Sure, the employees are getting paid to help customers, but the customers need to shoulder some responsibility for being decent human beings.
She offered several tips to be a better customer and thus get better customer service. I’ve also included some other tips from wikiHOW about how to be a good customer. Take heed, fellow shoppers.
n Treat the employee as a person, not someone who is there to do your bidding.
n Say hello or some sort of greeting, instead of launching straight into your request. However, a local restaurant owner said he actually prefers if customers go straight to their orders because it make the line move faster.
n Don’t talk on your cell phone when you are checking out. It’s rude and it slows down the line. And, more frequently stores are asking that you don’t use cell phones at all inside their walls.
n Be patient when in line. Sighing, groaning and inappropriate language won’t make it move any faster.
n Don’t yell at employees for store or corporate policies. Most often, they didn’t make them and have no control over them. If you want to contest something, ask politely for a manager to discuss your situation.
n Don’t badmouth the employee to your fellow shoppers in front of the employee. He/she can still hear you and will be much less likely to help you.
n If you are paying with cash, put the money in the employee’s hand, not on the counter.
n When you knock something down from a rack or shelf, put it back.
n Don’t take 20 items into a 10-item express checkout lane.
n If you take fast food into the store or dressing room, throw away the containers when you are done. Don’t leave them around the store.
But even if you do treat the employee with every common courtesy, we are all people and we have our bad days. I used to work at retail and I enjoyed my job, but sometimes I had a horrible day and it was difficult to keep a smile on my face through my eight-hour shift.
Give employees a pass every now and then. I figure if you do that, when you or I act like a jerk every once in a while, they’ll be more likely to give us a pass.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or

Carlie Kollath/Daily Journal

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