Customer 101

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 12th Jul 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

A guide on the type of customers you will encounter in the retail industry.

The customer is always right!

Hi Reader!

Welcome to the world of retail where the hours are long, the pay is minimal and "the customer is always right".

Speaking of customers, (for those who don't know) most retail training program cover basic customer etiquette but don't cover the TYPE of customers an employee is likely to meet.

Because of this,I (a former retail employee) have decided to clue you in so that you may know how to identify them and see if you match up to any of them.

1.The Ebeneezer Scrooges.

The cheapskates. These type of customers will argue over the price of products, ask for discounts on items which are ALREADY priced for discount, and try to low ball employees with lines like "I can get it cheaper elsewhere". They are annoying to deal with due to their persistent haggling but quieten down whenever an employee mentions the idea of fetching a manager.

2.The John McEnroe's.

From getting angry over something an employee can't control (the store not stocking a certain product) to getting mad when an employee doesn't have an answer for them (they expect an 18 year old employee working in the Home/D.I.Y section to know things like which fertilizer allows for the best possible yield of their produce and if loam soil is suitable for the pumpkin seeds they wish to purchase), they will explode into a rage over anything. They are easy to anger and hard to satisfy.

3.The Window Shoppers.

These "customers" will come in,walk around the store knowing they won't buy anything (with the employee shadowing them) and eventually leave, wasting the employees valuable time which could be spent doing important tasks like folding shirts.

4. The Fast Ones

Fast Ones, like window shoppers, technically can't be classed as customers as they usually try to A) snatch an item off the counter and run for the hills, or B) pull a con ("this shirt is ruined"/ switch the tags of an item). Their plans don't usually work out due to plan 'ol stupidity (Yes,the scanners at the door do work and yes, the cameras are always on).

5.The "Do you work here?" Customer A.K.A The Interrupters

These customers tend to waltz into a store with a confused look, find someone who looks like they MIGHT work at the store, and ask the infamous question. They will also interrupt WHATEVER you are doing regardless of how important a task you might be doing. You could be fending off a robber and they would still approach you to ask where they could find the toiletries section (even though all sections are clearly labelled).

6. The Primadonnas

A retail employees worst nightmare. Usually affluent with a sense of entitlement, they show up,demand that everything be up to their standards and exit, leaving a trail of destruction for employees to clean up. They are the Stone Cold Steve Austins of the retail world (Arrive, Raise Hell, Leave). Primadonnas typically make threatening comments ("I could get you fired"), snide remarks ("No wonder why you work here"), and undermine employees ("Get me your manager,maybe he/she is competent").
The only lawful way to get rid of primadonnas aside from justifiable homicide would be to wear a painful fake smile as they berate you and apologize incessantly.

7. The Misplacers

Another mortal enemy of the retail employee, their only purpose in life is to hear the anguished sighs of an employee. What makes them worse than Primadonnas? Their ability to disorganize. If you have ever found an item out of place (a serving of meat in the toiletries aisle) whilst browsing a general goods store or saw some unfolded shirts/jeans lying around next to a neatly folded stack , know that a Misplacer was/is around the area and consider that act as the retail version of tagging a wall. Like graffiti artists,they are stealthy, faceless and rarely caught. You will never know who they are but you will know that they were around.

8. The Night Walkers

This customer type has a defining personality trait: they come to shop at closing time. For some reason,they ignore that a store is open for ten hours and come to shop at the eleventh hour. DO NOT ,UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LET THEM IN. While some that are let in would purchase and leave immediately, others loiter around the shop as if they have all the time in the world, forgetting that an employee still has other duties.

As an employee, you will deal with these customer types on a frequent basis and while they would make you hate retail, you will run into a certain customer that will make it all worth it...

9. The Perfect Customer

This customer would have their goods organised well before their turn, be friendly, flash a smile, be understanding when a mistake has been made, and accept fault when it lies with them.

If you identify with any of the first 8 types, please TRY be like the Perfect Customer and understand that at the end of the day, an employee is also human and has emotions.


Customer, Customer Care, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Customers, Humor

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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