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View Full Version : The Help Your Fellow SSGers to Be Better Customers Thread



Phantom-like Menace
07-02-2006, 01:37 AM
Okay, it's not my intent for this to be a "customers suck" thread (and certainly don't want this becoming an "employees suck" thread), but for those of you who work with customers (or guests as some of us are forced to call them) what are some of the easy things customers can do or know to make your jobs easier? I'd prefer these not be blatantly obvious but things that perfectly reasonable people may not realize. I know I may not realize something I do makes life hell for some poor employee who could really use break, and I'd prefer not to do it if I can.

Just some general ones that I think apply to a wide range of jobs:

Please don't use high-value bills unless you are at a bank. There is a finite amount of change in the register. If businesses have to carry enough change to break these bills all day they are asking for criminals to target them.

Many companies offer their goods through the Internet. Often these prices are lower than you can expect them to be at brick and mortar establishments. Please do not assume the prices must be the same when purchased by either method.

If you must make inquiries by phone instead of making the effort to come into the actual business, please realize that you are not entitled to be served at that moment simply because you are speaking to an employee. That same employee may have a line of customers whom you have essentially cut in line in front of, but the phone impersonalizes the situation enough that you do not realize your offense.

I'll have more later that are specific to the wonderful worlds of retail and hospitality.

Kidhuman
07-02-2006, 02:07 AM
Please don't use high-value bills unless you are at a bank. There is a finite amount of change in the register. If businesses have to carry enough change to break these bills all day they are asking for criminals to target them.

Whats the difference between 5 twenty's or 1 one hundred dollar bill? Same amount of money.


Many companies offer their goods through the Internet. Often these prices are lower than you can expect them to be at brick and mortar establishments. Please do not assume the prices must be the same when purchased by either method.

I have always seen websites charging more, never less.

Phantom-like Menace
07-02-2006, 03:06 AM
Whats the difference between 5 twenty's or 1 one hundred dollar bill? Same amount of money.
I'd make the same point, but I don't think our meanings are the same.

High value bills eat change voraciously and usually cannot themselves be given as change. Even if the total of your purchase is $101 and you give me a one hundred dollar bill and a five with only four dollars change, it would have been a godsend to get five twenties and a five so I can make change for the next person who brings up a high-value bill for a low-value purchase--and there will be another one. I know just last week I had a register with only six $100 bills and a handful of coins, all because the average person asks the same question you asked and hands me a high-value bill. Add to the injury the insult that many people (not all) have hundreds just because they think it makes them look more impressive, and it grates severly.

That's exactly what this thread is meant to convey. Perfectly reasonable people may see no harm in it, but it causes unnecessary problems which could just as easily be avoided.


I have always seen websites charging more, never less.
There are more things in heaven and earth. . . .

Do you work with customers and have anything that I might do to help you or people in your position?

Kidhuman
07-02-2006, 03:26 AM
I was questioning the cfriminal aspect of 5 20's vs 1 100 dollar bill. I understand the change part of it.


Yes, I work with customers. I do tech support for dish network. Its much different than Target or WM or anything retail, but still work with customers.

Phantom-like Menace
07-02-2006, 06:49 AM
I was questioning the cfriminal aspect of 5 20's vs 1 100 dollar bill. I understand the change part of it.

Mea culpa.

In order to support that many high-value bills, we'd need to have drawers with a far larger supply of money in the form of smaller bills, so maybe we go from a register having one hundred dollars at the start of the day/shift to a drawer with a few hundred dollars at the start of the day/shift. Sure there is always the option of a safe, but in order for a safe to work to make change, there needs to be a person who is able to get into it at will. If you make change for hundred dollar bills all day, it's extremely easy for criminals to see exactly who has access to the safe and the exact location of the safe. Actually, this is a time-honored method to case a business. Thankfully for criminals, since so many people use hundred dollar bills, the criminals don't even have to draw attention to themselves by using them. They simply take advantage of the people who use them.


Yes, I work with customers. I do tech support for dish network.

Tech support? You sound like you would have a great deal to add to this thread, and while I don't use Dish Network, I'm sure your thoughts could be applied to general tech support. I once heard that Cavuto guy on--I don't remember if he's Fox News or MSNBC, because I dont' watch either--complain at length about how patronizing it was when he called tech support and while on hold an automated message was advising him to check cables and perform other small troubleshoots. There is no way I wouldn't have a similar message before my tech support. It simply makes sense.

LusiferSam
07-02-2006, 01:12 PM
Please don't use high-value bills unless you are at a bank. There is a finite amount of change in the register. If businesses have to carry enough change to break these bills all day they are asking for criminals to target them.
I really disagree with you here. A good customer would use bills that come close to value of the purchase. If I buy something for $99 I should be able to pay with a $100 bill or two $50 bills. I'd be a total jerk if I paid 99 $1's or 19 $5's and four $1's. Same thing if I brought a $1 item and paid with a $100. But using a $1 or a $5 bill is fine.

UKWildcat
07-15-2006, 10:49 PM
Here's one: Don't throw your form of payment at the cashier!!!!!

I hate nothing more than for a customer to whip out their twenty dollar bill or their credit card and throw it on the counter at or towards me. :mad: Can we say "Rude as hell"? Please treat the clerks/cashiers with a little respect. Its really not that difficult just to hand it to them, is it? If the customer is extremely rude I'll just throw their credit card back at them. Does that make me any better than them? Nope. Do I sink to their level? Yea, I've been known to... but maybe they'll realize they don't like it happening to them and they will stop doing it to other cashiers. :rolleyes:

*dream* The day I cash someones 20 that they threw at me and I wind up and let their change fly, right into their face!!! */dream* :p :D

Dar' Argol
07-16-2006, 12:46 AM
PLM, seems to me like you've had one too many frustrating days and feel if you spread the word a bit it will make a real difference. Being that I have been a telemarketer, a customer service Rep for a catalog company, and a WM employee for 5 1/2 years I know a bit about common curtiousy(sp). This will really ot do a lick of good as consumers will always do as they wish. You want to start making a difference, then start teaching your kids this.

On that note, I would rather have larger bills then smaller . . expecially if I was part of a larger chain. Larger bills are more noticble when you are tryng to get rid of them. Where as smaller bills, although maybe not as large of a take, are easier to spend without drawing attention.

If you want some good points to pass along, how about these. Look the cashier in the eyes when you approch them. Do not just look at what you are putting on the counter. Make that connection with them, after all they are human too. And make sure to thank them at the end, sometimes that can make a persIf you work the phones and a customer calls, please stop what you are doing and focus on them. One of the worst things you can do for a customer that is either wanting to purchase from you or has a problem, is too seem dis-interested. This also applies to those working a brick and mortar who are out on the floor. you have a job because the customers shop there. Well, what happens if the cuatomers do not shop there anymore because they do not have a good experiance??

As a consumer, do not alway assume that what you are looking to purchase should be there every time. There is demand as well as supply and sometimes they just stop making things too.If it is out of stock then so be it. Find it else where or wait till it comes in. But do not be a butthole about it.

I know how futile this is . . . but sometimes you get on a roll and I'm not one to usually hold back.

dr_evazan22
07-16-2006, 09:35 AM
Whats the difference between 5 twenty's or 1 one hundred dollar bill? Same amount of money.


Having had situations like this, the issue comes when the first customer of the day comes in and makes a purchase for $5.99 and the opening till is only $100 (with about 15 in change).

-----

Realize that the employee has many customers to wait on, don't get in a huff if the employee has to excuse themselves for a moment to deal with something else (especially if someone else was being helped first).

If your in a hurry, need a lot of specialized help, don't even bother coming in.

When you go out to eat, if you get what you consider exceptional service, reflect it in your tip. Your compliments won't help pay bills.

JON9000
07-16-2006, 01:51 PM
If you are planning on taking a lot of time with your purchase and you realize you will need one on one help for an extended time from an associate, please consider coming into the store at an odd time. Don't expect to monopolize somebody for an hour at 7pm.

Phantom-like Menace
07-18-2006, 11:10 PM
I hadn't realized this thread picked up in the last couple of days.


PLM, seems to me like you've had one too many frustrating days and feel if you spread the word a bit it will make a real difference. This will really ot do a lick of good as consumers will always do as they wish.

I've had more than one too many frustrating days, but that's beside the point. This thread is not meant to change anyone who doesn't want to change or is too lazy to change (I.e. 99% of customers) but to inform anyone who legitimately is a nice as possible to customer service representatives but may not realize some things they do are almost custom-designed to infuriate.

On the subject of high value bills, there appears to be some dissention as to what is or isn't the situation to use them in. You're going to have far fewer people complaining either way if you use $20 bills. I've never had a problem with someone buying a $.75 pack of gum with a twenty since it makes sense in far more situations than only having a $100 bill.

I have a quick thought related to JON9000's comment about coming in at peak times. This world lives mostly on the hour, less frequently on the half hour, very infrequently on the quarter hour, and almost never in between. You're just asking to wait in line on the hour.

I've got two thoughts specific to hotels.

If your planned arrival time is after 12:00am but before 6:00am or 7:00am, you need to make your reservations for the previous calendar day. In other words if you're coming in tonight at 3:00am, your arrival date is still 7/18/06, because it is still the business day of the 18th. The new business day probably starts at 6:00am, but that could be different at different hotels.

And another thought related to time: each hotel probably has three shifts: 7:00am-3:00pm, 3:00pm-11:00pm, and 11:00pm-7:00am. If it doesn't matter what time you arrive, you might try to arrive in the middle of these shifts if only because there are certain tasks that have to be performed for the exchange of shifts.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
07-18-2006, 11:35 PM
I work retail. I don the vest of doom. I work in electronics at the local Wal-Mart. Here are my few gripes i'm giving out (on a list that extends for miles):

1. Don't ask for movie that are still in theaters. They're not out yet. 6-8 months for movies to be out on DVD, on AVERAGE. No, we don't have "Cars" on DVD nor do we have "The Da Vinci Code" or "Over the Hedge." True stories: i kept a tally sheet behind the counter out of customer eye range documenting how many people asked for "Cars" and DVC on their opening weekends: about 11 each. We've even had people buying the PC/ps2 games thinking they are the films. And we got somebody who asked us if we had the new Pirates movie...............a week before it opened.

2. VHS tapes aren't big anymore, neither are audio cassettes. We don't have them. I don't care how big your tape collection is nor do i want to hear why you think DVD's suck. Either buy a DVD player or a combo and leave me alone.

3. Don't, DO NOT interrupt me when i'm assisting another customer. It is rude, shows no class, and guess what, i'm going to milk my time with that customer to make you wait longer. I don't care if it's a quick question: if i'm mid sentence with somebody else, don't talk. When this happens, i don't even look at the customer, i just throw up my hand with the "yeah, 1 second" hand gesture.

4. We don't match prices from the online store. Get over it.

5. Don't ask me to recommend an illegal mp3 downloading site. I'm on the clock and don't want to lose my job. Sure it sucks, but i get decent money and it buys toys and DVD's for me.

6. If i'm on my break (not wearing my vest) and you see me walking by and REALLY need help and ask me something, i don't mind, but be polite. Don't expect me to run around the store for you when i'm enjoying my time away from you.

7. Which leads me to: don't expect me to know everything about every item in the store. I'm in electronics and only electronics. When you ask me how to work a contraption you found in autmotive and i don't know, don't get ****y. and let's use logic: the hoses aren't in electronics; hangers aren't here either, and for the love of God: the fact that something USES electricity doesn't make it in the HOME ENTERTAINMENT department.

and all the examples i've used are legit. Retail sucks the life out of you. Dont' let your children work it. :crazed:

Phantom-like Menace
07-18-2006, 11:56 PM
2. VHS tapes aren't big anymore, neither are audio cassettes. We don't have them. I don't care how big your tape collection is nor do i want to hear why you think DVD's suck. Either buy a DVD player or a combo and leave me alone.

Ahh! I thought my city was the only B.F.E. place where people were crazy enough to ask about VHS! We got that all the time at Sam Goody here. People were looking for music on audio cassettes too. We always thought their heads were going to explode when we told them manufacturers no longer made those media. They'd always ask what they're supposed to listen to in their cars, and full of complete bewilderment, we'd point to the car adaptor.

I was purchasing only CDs before I even had a CD player.

Dar' Argol
07-22-2006, 08:26 PM
5. Don't ask me to recommend an illegal mp3 downloading site. I'm on the clock and don't want to lose my job. Sure it sucks, but i get decent money and it buys toys and DVD's for me.

So can you recommend one??? he he heh . . . . .j/k

On the flip side, if you are an employee of said mega-stores, and you are not in your area with your vest on and a customer asked you about or for something in this area, do not get huffy and what not. It is not identified that you do not work in Housewares. All that is known is that you ARE an employee of that store. It is not the customers fault if they ask an Automotive employee a housewares question while said employee is in that area.

If you are a cashier, and you do not like what you do, then friggin quit! DO NOT take it out on the customers that come to your line. No one is holding a gun to you and telling you to do this job. Find something else to do beside assulting customers.

Phantom-like Menace
07-22-2006, 11:14 PM
Here's one I forgot about. The CliffsNotes version was my signature for a while.

Don't make reservations to stay at a hotel the same day you are set to arrive, especially late afternoon. You're just asking for a reason to flip out on some poor employee. While you can get lucky, there are at least a dozen things (that I can think of right now) that can go wrong, especially if you don't make your reservations directly through the front desk. I don't even want to go into how many iterations of FUBAR I can list and I won't. Suffice it to say: plan ahead Everyone--including yourself--will be happier. If you can't plan ahead, just show up and live with what you get. It's not that I don't want to help last minute reservations it's that this advice is all the help I can give them.

Edit: Okay, I might be violating my own rule here, because I don't want to post completely obvious things that customers do, but apparently this isn't obvious because customers do it with alarming regularity. Alarming regularity. When you get a hotel room, odds are you are going to have to fill out some form of registration card. If you are near-sighted you might think about having your glasses with you. It's all I can do not to dump every pair of reading glasses in the lost and found on the counter when you inform me you don't have your glasses.

And just as an aside, why the hell are so many people on the road tonight?