customers

All posts tagged customers

The Joys of Retail

Published July 21, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

I like my job. I really do. It’s mostly fun, and I get to see all the cool new candies that come out, as well as learn what candies have gone away for good.

But the customers can really make or break my day.

I generally enjoy helping people find what they are looking for. The store is a little overwhelming for first time shoppers. There is a ton of things to see – 94 flavours of salt water taffy, 70 bins of bulk, unwrapped candies, 96 bins of bulk wrapped candies, ice cream, handmade fudge, handmade caramel apples, hand dipped Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Cupcakes and bacon, handmade truffles, nut clusters, haystacks and other chocolate delights (all the handmade and dipped items are made in house – fresh!). So there is a lot to see, and finding that one thing you want may be a bit difficult. So I am there to help.

And then there is the other side of the coin.

I find trash all over the place. Candy wrappers, napkins, used kleenex and bits if paper. I find it on the floor, on shelves, tucked behind displays, and in the open bulk bins. I often find chewed pieces of taffy just left on a shelf. ‘Cause, yeah, I want to clean up your chewed up food. When did it get so difficult to put your trash in the bins? Can’t you spit the taffy into the wrapper and put it in the trash bin? You know, the one that is RIGHT NEXT TO THE BULK BIN YOU DROPPED IT IN?

Apparently not.

And it is really not cool to turn your ill mannered children loose in any store, but especially not in a candy store. They really don’t need to pull everything out it’s holder and drop it on the shelf or the floor. Nor do they need to shove past people. And it’s sad to say this – but isn’t just kids. I watched a woman in her late fifties pull a candy filled toy out it’s display, play with it, then drop it on the shelf rather placing it back in the display. The one DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF HER. I also ‘followed’ and man in his 30’s up and down the aisles putting back all the crap he pulled out and then dropped on the floor or the shelf. I gave him a brilliant smile as I put back the candy bar he dropped on the shelf. He got the hint and stopped doing it.

And this is CANDY store. We sell sweets. All kinds of sweets. You ask me for cigarettes, and I will tell you we have candy, bubblegum and chocolate cigarettes. We even have bubblegum cigars. We do NOT have real, tobacco cigarettes or cigars, and I have had people come in specifically to ask for them. I have also been asked if we have feminine products (We don’t, just in case you were wondering. Oh, but we do have gummy and chocolate band-aids).

All that frustration can make for long days on the floor. I get tired of the rudeness and being shoved by customers while I am trying to fill bins. I get tired of finding nasty snot rags and chewed up candy lying on the shelves. Some days the very people who make my job possible, try my patience to the breaking point.

Then the sweet things happen to offset all the frustration.

There was this little girl, maybe 3 or 4, who had to show me her bag of candy. She had very carefully chosen several things from the bulk wrapped candy bins. She held up her bag and pointed out to me all the special candy she had in her bag. I knelt down to share the magic with her and told her how perfect all her choices were. She smiled, and then very solemnly asked me, with her eyes wide,  ‘Are you the Keeper of The Candy?’.

That made my entire week.

 

 

Making The Holidays a Wee Bit Happier

Published December 16, 2013 by mindfulofchatter

holiday-stress

 

It’s the much-anticipated, and dreaded, holiday season. There are cards to send, decorations to be put up, relatives to put up with and gifts to be bought. The stores are crowded. The roads are crowded. We are all a bit stressed and in a hurry. But we still want good customer service. So?

Okay.

Step one:

BE A GOOD CUSTOMER. You heard me. Stop being such a jerk. Don’t yell at the poor clerk trying to help you. That clerk may not have the authority to do what you may be asking her/him to do. Ask for a supervisor or manager if you are asking for something beyond store policy. And ask politely. This works on the telephone a well. Yelling at the overworked, underpaid rep will only get you ‘disconnected’ and no one will be happy. Really. Your yelling and making a scene is completely uncalled for. And you look like and ass. Not pretty.

Step two:

BE A POLITE CUSTOMER. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is in your shoes. Everyone forgot to get a gift for Great Aunt Milly and is rushing about trying to find something for her. Everyone has rellies coming. It isn’t just YOU. Take a breath. Count to 10 (or 20 or 100) and calm the heck down. Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. Help someone with too many packages to their car. Hold doors open. Smile. Above all – be patient. Do you know what happens when you do that? Others ‘pay it forward’. They smile. They hold doors. They let the lady with one item go ahead of them in line. They say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. It is contagious. The world becomes a little happier as a result.

Step three:

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE FOR CUSTOM ITEMS. I work in business that makes custom items. We have a stream of customers who NOW want 20 to 100 custom items made before Christmas. A lot of them ‘have been thinking about doing this for a while now’. So we now have to work harder, and longer hours to get them finished on time. While I am not complaining about the extra hours (meaning extra pay), I still find frustrating to deal with someone who waited until a week before Christmas to follow through on a thought they had in November.

Step three:

DON’T BE A WANKER ABOUT THAT CUSTOM ORDER. Oh don’t give me that look. You know who you are and what I mean. You’ve waited until the last-minute. Now you want to be über picky about colors, style and the like. That’s fine. But listen to the people who making the items for you. YOU have no clue how to do this. This is why you came to us. WE know how to do this. What works, what doesn’t work. Be open-minded about suggestions so we can get your items made. The more you change your mind, the less chance we have of getting your things made on time. When we tell you white on white isn’t going to show up, please believe us. Oh, and along that line? White is white. There is no ‘dark white’ or ‘light white’. After white, there is off white, ivory, beige, tan etc., or silvers and grays. 

Step four:

DON’T BE ANNOYED AT HOW SOMEONE WISHES YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY. I don’t give a whit about how someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. It not how they say it, it’s the thought behind it. They are wishing me joy and happiness. They are being warm and caring. So be it ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Holidays’, Happy New Year’, or whatever, I am pleased they are thinking of me. I say ‘ Thank you, Merry Christmas (or whatever) to you also.’ I smile. I am happy someone wishes me well. 

Merry Christmas to you all. Enjoy your holiday season. Spend time with the people you love. Call, text, or write. Do whatever you need to do to reach out to those who live far and away. Smile. Laugh. 

And make the holidays a little happier for all of those around you.