IT’S THE unspoken warfare at the checkouts – hidden behind the exchange of cash and pleasantries between the customer and the shop assistant.
But who’s always right? The customer, or the person handing out the customer service?
A question posed by The Leader on our Facebook page about customer service gripes sparked some healthy debate from locals at both ends of the spectrum yesterday.
Whether it’s the long waits for a purchase, being ignored by staff because of personal appearance or shop assistants chatting to each other about their personal lives when you’re ready to pay – we’ve all had our fair share of customer service horror stories.
But those who work in the industry were also keen to share a few of their own on our page yesterday.
The latest research in a recently released Australian customer service survey carried out by TrueLocal suggests long waits and being ignored are our biggest pet hates when it comes to a trip to the shops.
But Leader readers went beyond the survey scope and gave us a few examples of their own.
“Staff ignoring customers while chatting among themselves, or chatting to each other while serving a customer – very rude,” Jennifer Richards wrote.
Reader Fiona Margery spoke of being ignored in favour of someone dressed “smartly” while shopping in an “expensive store.”
“Money is money, no matter what you look like and all customers should be treated equally,” she said.
But Sandra Darling-Herbert and Jasmine Clason were quick to point out some of the low-points from working on the other side of the counter including customers slamming money down on the counter, a lack of manners and customers talking on their phones while being served.
“Then you get the customers that just make your day with the kindness and respect for the job that you do,” Sandra said.
And for Jasmine, etiquette is simple when it comes to customers. “Please and thank you are literally the easiest words to say,” she said.
“A smile can be heard down the phone – don’t speak to your customers as though they are interrupting your precious time.” Karen Urquhart wrote.
“ I have worked in customer service all of my working life. Some days are harder than others. It’s hard to smile and be nice when someone has just abused you, but it is your job. You just smile and get on with it. If I get bad service I generally won’t go back. I will call and complain but I also call and commend excellent service as well.”
You can join in the conversation by visiting our facebook page www.facebook.com/thetamworthnortherndailyleader
Vote on your biggest customer service gripe in our online poll at www.northerndailyleader.com.au