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November 14, 2011 / fivehundredeightysixsqft

Customer Service Etiquette

I’ve worked in customer service for over five years. I’ve seen it all, including my fair share of adult temper tantrums. With the gift buying season looming overhead the attitudes and dynamics of retail will change. While I’m not saying that part of this is brought on by the associate, but I think many buyers need to understand a few rules of etiquette in the approaching season.

  • Don’t make ridiculous demands. Sensibility is usually respected during transactions. Don’t try to return things for more money then you spent, or from last Christmas. Using common sense can get you a long ways. When you feel you are making a sensible demand but not being understood try to change your approach.
  • Don’t complain about: lines, traffic, weather, it being too loud, crowds, or things not being cheap enough. Anything you complain about, the associate has already heard by the entire line in front of you. Asking you how you are doing is not an invitation to vent about every problem you’ve had today.
  • Be respectful. Everyone knows it takes respect to get respect. As soon as you start yelling, throwing things or swearing, you will not be respected, and any hope of getting what you wanted is probably out the door.
  • Try to keep your receipt. It seems obvious, almost stupid. You’re buying a gift for someone, they may already have it, not like it, it may not fit. A thousand things can go wrong when buying an extended family member a gift. If you keep your receipt the line will go faster, your day will be better and any customer service person will be slightly nicer to you.
  • If I ask you if I can help you, do not answer: “I doubt it,”  “I hope so,” or “I need a lot more help then this.” Very few people actually enjoy holiday shopping, let alone returning anything, but making associates feel like they can’t help you probably isn’t the best idea.
  • Have everything you need ready. If you need to write a check, do it ahead of time. Have your cards and id out. Anything you can do to make the transaction go faster will be appreciated by the people around you.
I love many of my customers, I really do. There are several customers I see more often then family. Honestly the holidays in retail are not all that bad, but one mean customer can ruin a whole shift. Working in retail changes the way you see people. I still have a lot of respect for a lot of shoppers, you just have to practice a little etiquette.
(Once again, my feelings do not represent those of any organizations I am involved in.)


Leave a Comment
  1. essentialingredient / Nov 14 2011 8:11 am

    i do not miss best buy during the holidays 🙂

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