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"Customer service"

(54 Posts)
girlracer Sun 10-Mar-13 10:25:27

Is it just me, or are there others out there who cannot stand shop assistants who, instead of asking if I need any help, or am happy just browsing, say "ARE YOU ALRIGHT THERE?" I swear one day I will answer "No, actually, I am about to drop to the floor with a heart attack, are you a trained first-aider" Also, when people say "I'm fine" when asked if they would like, say, another cup of tea. I didn't ask how you were, I asked if you wanted another drink! Maybe I should just accept this is 21st century speak!

vampirequeen Sun 10-Mar-13 10:28:53

I'm always tempted to answer, "No, I think I'll be better over there."

JessM Sun 10-Mar-13 11:00:35

It's not as polite as a direct offer of help is it e.g. Can I help you in any way?

Waitresses say something similar when supposedly checking the meal is ok :Is everything alright for you both?

Smoluski Sun 10-Mar-13 11:02:36

Why I hated retail customers blame you for asking if they need help,or blame you for ignoring pet hate ...sarcastic customers ....

Movedalot Sun 10-Mar-13 11:20:40

The one which gets to me is when I have said thank you and they answer 'no problem'. Who suggested there was?

janeainsworth Sun 10-Mar-13 12:13:23

I get fed up with everything being 'brilliant' even when I have bought something as mundane as a a pack of toilet rolls grin

LullyDully Sun 10-Mar-13 12:19:59

Just evolution of language; however irritating sadly.

The one that annoys me is WOW.
Adjectives have become WOW words!!

Also the use of 'Guys ' to children. Must be getting old.

baubles Sun 10-Mar-13 12:22:52

I don't really mind what form of greeting is used as long as it is friendly and said with a smile.

I work in a clinical/retail environment and although I rarely work on the shop floor I am responsible for how my staff behave towards customers/patients.
Believe me they have a tough time keeping everyone happy. I'd rather they spoke in their normal, polite fashion than sounded 'scripted'.

baubles Sun 10-Mar-13 12:24:13

sounded ?? Bah!

Smoluski Sun 10-Mar-13 13:06:41

baubles have also worked in a clinical retail environment ....wonder if the same one.
If the greeting or thanks or enquiry are offered in a sincere way I don't have a problem with the actual words that are spoken.

Barrow Sun 10-Mar-13 13:09:46

I don't mind what shop assistant says, as long as it is polite, what I really don't like is when they ask if they can help and I say I am just browsing they then follow me around the shop! Do I look like a shoplifter?

I wonder if perhaps they are lonely and just want someone to talk to! It usually ends with me walking out of the shop without buying anything.

Anne58 Sun 10-Mar-13 14:55:10

Oh this takes me back! When I was helping clients to design mystery shopping programmes it was interesting to see how the approach differed.

Some had a policy that all customers should be acknowledged on entry (to the shop I mean!) and had no hard and fast rules, so that it could be just a smile, saying good morning etc. The customer should then be left to browse.

Others had a very prescribed approach re. the greeting to be used and immediate offers of assistance.

I think that the comments regarding phrases such as "are you ok there?" are of course valid, but I think that there is a growing tendency to use them, and perhaps we should just accept that it is meant as a friendly greeting.

PS I must admit that I prefer to hear "I'm fine" rather then "I'm good" which makes me think either "I'll be the judge of that" or that they have a somewhat over inflated opinion of themselves!

Goose Sun 10-Mar-13 15:26:37

I was in a charity shop the other day, browsing near the till, when a woman came along to be served. The bloke behind the counter said 'You alright love'? and the woman said 'no' and the bloke said 'good, good' and carried on doing what he was doing:-(

Anne58 Sun 10-Mar-13 18:11:25

There are always those Goose that ask the question but never listen to the answer!

nanaej Sun 10-Mar-13 18:52:13

I really think that as long as the enquirey /response are polite and genuine the exact wording is not a problem.
What I object to is assistants who continue to chat to one another when a customer is waiting /being 'served' or when a customer continues to hold a conversation on a mobile whilst the assistant is serving them or treats an assistant as a 'servant'!
It is all about good manners!! Even complaints can be delivered courteously!

Deedaa Sun 10-Mar-13 20:20:46

Oh phoenix I think that if I hadn't retired when I did I would have strangled the next customer (almost always a man) who told me "I'm good" when I asked if I could help with anything else.
Another bete noire was the customer who insisted on talking on their mobiles while they pointed at things. I used to become very dim and had to ask them lots of questions so that they were forced to actually speak to me!
I have to admit that I do use "Wow" an awful lot and my only defence is spending too much time with a six year old smile

gracesmum Sun 10-Mar-13 20:29:03

I know - whatever happened to "Can I help you ( with or without Madam)?"
"Guys" to a group of grannies is also just silly, but I cringe at "girls" and even find "Ladies" patronising (sorry, Frank) Customers who insist on being on their mobiles should go to the end of the queue until they are ready to talk to the sales assistant, but sales assistants should also remember to make eye contact with the customer, oh and smile!

JustMe Mon 11-Mar-13 13:38:36

I hate it when going into a small fashion shop with a friend and the harridan women behind the counter says 'hello ladies' or 'how can I help you ladies'. How do you know I am a lady and to me it just sounds patronising.

Also, hate to be interrupted three times during the course of a meal to be asked if 'everything is OK'. If it isn't, I will tell you, stop interrupting me! I have known it when I am obviously engrossed in conversation and the waitress/restaurant staff will literally interrupt me or a friend mid-sentence to ask me this. I know they are told to do it but it ain't half annoying!

Nelliemoser Mon 11-Mar-13 14:18:59

I wandered into B& Q quite early one morning recently. I had a lot of smiles and good mornings from staff. It really cheered me up.

JessM Mon 11-Mar-13 15:12:45

B and Q make a big effort I think to recruit nice staff, including older ones!

vegasmags Mon 11-Mar-13 16:07:46

It seems that M & S staff are being trained to chirrup 'Thank you for waiting' when you eventually reach your turn in a long queue. I'm usually quite even tempered but I have to grit my teeth not to reply that I didn't have much alternative.

Movedalot Mon 11-Mar-13 16:11:20

When I used to shop in Kingston I wondered if there was a special course for people who worked in department stores. The course that taught them to look the other way when I wanted help or just be too busy putting out stock to assist a customer!

I like it when I buy something using one of my cards and the person serving me reads my name and uses it when thanking me. That really does make me feel wanted.

Our local B & Q used to be Focus and you would not believe the difference now. No wonder Focus went out of business.

annodomini Mon 11-Mar-13 17:14:00

vegasmags, it's not just a long queue that triggers the 'thank you for waiting'. It's virtually automatic, not matter what length the queue has been. Often I have pointed out that I really haven't been waiting!

Faye Mon 11-Mar-13 17:30:09

I am with you JustMe finding it annoying when interrupted mid interesting conversation by someone asking if we want something or clearing the table.

I am not with you there movedalot, smile I particularly dislike it when the person serving uses my name, especially repeatedly, it doesn't make me feel good, it grates on my nerves.

Movedalot Mon 11-Mar-13 17:41:09

Faye it is because they have gone to the trouble to look on my card and see what my name is. I think that is a lovely thing to do and to say "Thank you Mrs ......"