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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Just as good customer service is the store's responsibility, good customer behavior is yours. Follow these steps to make life easier for employees, and possibly make your own experience more pleasant as well.

Call ahead to check availability of popular items. It's far better than driving to the store, parking half a mile away, walking deep into the aisles, and wasting the time of a clerk who can't find it. When chasing after an item on sale, bring the printed ad with you (or at least write down the item number) to speed things up and avoid confusion about the price.
Put things back where you found them. When you knock something down from a rack or shelf, pick it up and put it back! On the other hand, don't put things back yourself if you don't know where they go. "Helpfully" putting back a shirt you just tried on in the wrong section or with the wrong sizes can make the item harder for others to find, and harder for the salespeople to find again and put back properly. If in doubt, leave it to the professionals.Be patient when in line. Sighing, groaning, and inappropriate language won't make it move any faster. If you find that an item is priced 15 cents lower at the other end of the store, let it go. Having someone run a price check over insignificant amounts isn't worth your time, the clerk's, or that of the people behind you. Don't be hasty to return items (especially electronics) you can't figure out how to use. When in doubt, either ask and/or study the owner's manual, and allow a few days' learning curve.

Leave the store with a smile and wish the clerk a nice day. Don't shoplift. Always be kind to store clerks, no matter how incompetent or rude you think they are. Odds are, they are neither - they are either having a bad day, or don't know the answer to your question. Don't take 20 items into a 10-item express checkout lane. If you do, don't be mad when you are redirected, or sneered at by other customers. Don't try to check out at closed lanes. If the light is on, it's open - even if there is no cashier there. If it's off, it's closed, even if there are three cashiers there. Period. Entering a closed checkout is like telling the cashier you don't respect him/her to his/her face. Don't do it, no matter what. Even if there is only one light on with 20 people waiting to check out, don't do it.

Put yourself in the shoes of the clerk, who must constantly deal with lines and lines of customers, many of them impatient and some of them rude.Many sites deal with the negative experiences of both customers and employees at specific retail stores. Reading some of the vents might give you an idea of what behaviors (and what stores) to avoid. Don't ever be rude to a store employee. You may be having a bad day, but why make them feel like crap just because you can? That mentality just makes you a less than a decent person.


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