It seems like every customer wants the best service they can possibly get–especially in the United States. whereas some customers can come and shop for themselves, there are many who expect a lot of attention for just coming into stores. There are even some that like to be shown around the store and demand an employee’s undivided attention.
However, this last example is near impossible to do with such large stores there are now and the amount of staffing that is put in them. They are not like small shops where there aren’t many customers around, but have hundreds of customers to about forty employees or less and having undivided attention is just something that takes away from other customer’s experience.
There are people in these stores who have tasks to do that are important and whereas customers are important, there are certain things they do to actually make their customer service worse. How is that, you wonder? I have worked at a store and know some of the things customers do take away from others’ shopping experience.
The example of undivided attention is only one of these ways. Our first way is the example of the messy customer. Say you have a table of folded clothes and a customer comes in, digs through at least a couple of folded piles looking for a particular color, size, or style. Unfolds a item or two and lays it/them out on the table to look at. They leave the piles they looked through a mess plus leave the opened clothing on top of them. Now some employee has to go over and fold these clothes—which cause extra expense for a company. They refold all the messy clothes–which takes them a good amount of time and plus are unable to help customers while they are doing it. An hour or two later the employee comes back–the table is messy again from someone else. This can happen in clothing, pegged items, and smaller shelved items.
Now let me ask this question? How hard would it have been for this customer to look through the clothes neatly and put the clothes back together neatly? How much time would it have taken to refold the item somewhat neatly and put it back where they got it or handed it to an employee to refold? Not much longer, but many do not bother. This behavior detracts from ability to serve customers plus adds on extra labor that the store may not even be able to finish in its budgeted time. Yes stores have an amount of budgeted hours–and they are not allowed to go over them. They have to make a profit and cannot if they go over budget and if they constantly have more work they either will take shortcuts to making it neat or foot the cost of making it neat by raising merchandise prices–actually a disservice to customers that customers themselves cause.
Our next example are customers who drop or knock merchandise on the floor and leave it sit. This causes extra labor for the company to go behind and pick it up and how many employees do you think the store has to pick everything up? Plus if it causes a customer accident, it costs the store extra just to cover the hospital visit. If they don’t take care of the customer that had the accident, they can get sued. This costs them a lot of their profits. In a minor sense, if the product gets damaged it also costs the company money. Again, higher prices will likely result from the aftermath of leaving things all over the floor.
How hard would it be to pick something up off the floor and put it somewhere not so dangerous? I’m sure even if it would be placed on a shelf it didn’t come from, that is much better than leaving items on the floor. less accidents and less damage would save a store lots of money, plus is safer for all customers. And if it is a product spill, let an employee know and they will be happy to clean it up to avoid people getting hurt on it.
Here’s a very common example of something that costs companies tons of money each year–the I changed my mind I don’t want this product displacement. Yep, instead of doing something polite like giving it to a store employee and telling them the item is unwanted or putting it back, these customers leave items all over the store where they are not supposed to be. Some even have the audacity to take items from refrigerated or frozen coolers and leave them out on shelves where they spoil. This costs a lot of money for employees to pick up and damage out. Plus it takes away time from being able to serve a customer.
Really, it would be simple to put products back where they were taken from or hand to an employee. At least someone doesn’t have to go through half the store looking for misplaced items. If an employee can’t be found and the location is not remembered, it would be great to put frozen back in a frozen area or a refrigerated item in a similar section. If it is just a shelved item it can be taken up to the checkout and placed in a returns area, saving the store time and money.
Another thing that customers do is leave shopping carts wherever they want in a parking lot instead of returning them to the store or putting them in a cart corral. Carts can be found everywhere—way down by another store in the area, practically out by the street, blocking a parking spot, and just generally anywhere in the lot. The store employees are not paid to go chasing down shopping carts wherever they are put. They may or may not notice them in other areas of a parking lot. These carts can be stolen, damaged by vehicles, or sit where they are placed for days.
I myself don’t find it hard to take a few minutes to shove a cart in a cart corral or even take it up to the store building if I’m not far away. Why is it so hard for other people I wonder? This can also cost the company money by having to buy new carts, extra effort spent to find them, and angry customers who can’t find an empty parking place and see one full of carts. I know when I can’t park in a lot at a sufficient distance from the building, I just leave.
Really, all it takes is a little thinking about the situation to realize what all this extra work costs a store. This cost gets passed onto a customer and the store can lose customers if costs go too high–costing the store profits. The worst case scenario is that the store can go out of business because of all this.
What can you do as a customer? Think of how you would like to be treated before doing the things you do to to others. Don’t do anything to store employees that would make you angry if someone did it to you. Use common sense and manners when going to the store. Sure, you may not like the lines or the experience but why cost yourself money and cause others unnecessary burdens? If you do the right thing, in the long run, both customer and employee will be better off.