I am a friendly person. I talk with others in the checkout line in stores (which never failed to make my kids cringe), and I thank whoever bags my groceries (after I ask them to please not put all the cans in one bag). Because this is how I tend to be in public, I do appreciate when a cashier or clerk is personable.
However, I have a bone to pick with store managers.
Stop trying to make your personnel sound like a Hallmark greeting card.
I can not be the only one who has noticed recently that retail store employees, particularly department stores and pharmacies, are being forced to recite the same thing to every person who walks in or out of the place.
Whoever is stationed in front is now designated to call out “Welcome to Swifty Shop” before you’re even through the automated doors.
Then there’s the poor sap at the cash register who, after listening to the customer grumble about prices, write a check for the wrong amount, and ask if the tags have to be on the item in order to return it (because, you know – wearing something to a party with tags on is just tacky), has to say (in a sincere voice), “Thank you for shopping at Uber Low Prices, please come again.”
Let your employees do it their way. Now, I don’t mean just let them say whatever they want to say to clientele, because we all know that could open up a whole can of worms (not to mention a lawsuit in some cases). I’m just saying I would rather have someone simply say hello when I walk into a store without feeling like they are force-feeding the name of the business. Chances are that I know where I am. Fine, there are times when I don’t know where I am or how I got there, but in general I do.
When I’m leaving your establishment, if the cashier wants to compliment my purse or whisper that I have a piece of spinach stuck between my teeth, I would prefer this over a mechanical monologue about being so thankful for my business, yada yada.
It’s all right to bring out the best in your staff. Just do so without sapping their mental strength by measuring their performance with how well they greet customers or shove them out the door. Let it be real. Not real enough to warrant an arrest because said employee told a customer just what they could do with that umbrella they wanted a discount on, since it isn’t the rainy season and they are doing you a favor by clearing out unwanted merchandise. I mean real enough where that person can have at least some personal investment in their words.
Help your employees to shine without auditioning them for a part in a Nickelodeon series. That’s all I’m saying.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a nice day. Seriously. I mean it!
2014 © Janine V. Talbot