It’s Not the Weather That’s ‘Frightful’; It’s Customer Service!

During the holidays customer service can be scary. We know the story: They should have hired more staff; they should have trained them better regarding the product or service, they should have empowered them to be of significant help…and they should have taught them a few soft skills. 

What can you do?

You can complain to the manager (and I have), you can tweet, or write a letter to corporate — I’ve done that too! But I always check myself prior to shopping understanding that “it’s a jungle out there” and what I may encounter may pull on everyone’s patience and self-control.  These three helps may get you through your brick and mortar shopping with your peace of mind in tact.

First, I eat before I shop, and dress comfortably but clean and cute!  Like tight shoes, being hungry while shopping can make me cranky quick! I make sure I look like a courteous shopper; replying to a greeting as I enter a store with a smile, and kindly responding  to “Can I help you?” which is usually, “Not yet, thank you” with good eye contact…and a smile.

Second, I don’t shop in “packs.” For personal reasons, I’d rather shop alone, but sometimes during the holidays I may have family, a couple friends or even kids with me. We are extra courteous of people around us, and salespeople who are leery of ‘groups.’ We keep particular eyes on our children and have briefed them beforehand about behavior in public.

 Thirdly, if I need assistance, I will look for the person who spoke to me first, if he or she is unavailable, I seek another associate. “Excuse me, will you help me find…?” or “Hi, do you have this in a size…?” I have found that my salutation to the associate will help me get the best service possible. My words are frequently seasoned with “Thank you.” Noticing their name badge and using his or her name whether they satisfy my request or suggest something similar make the experience better for us both.

We all encounter that not-so-friendly salesperson. If your kindness, and smile does not change his or her attitude take a name and note the time and location, then spend your time and money somewhere else if you can. But don’t allow someone else’s poor attitude affect yours.

Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!


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