31 thoughts on “June 30, 2016

  1. When I go in to stores at the mall, I get greeted, asked what I am looking for, and told about all the sales. If I say I am just looking then once they see me looking at something they say ‘are you here for that…we have more over here, these are on sale.’ It really is exhausting.

    But I know they are required to say a certain amount. It sucks though. I like stores without people coming up to you.

    • This is the way that these companies make money though, and it’s been proven time and time again to work. For every person that doesn’t like to be bothered in a boutique, there is one (or more) that want to be guided, and want opinions and genuinely need help. For every customer that complains about an “aggressive sales person”, there are more that will complain about staff that ignored them. They really can’t win as everybody is different.

      So, the store may as well try to do what they are there to do, make money.

      If I don’t want to be “hassled” when I am shopping, I will go to Walmart…

      • ok but if i actually say ‘ i just want to look, i don’t want to have a conversation with you about sales, products, etc. i just want to look please, please leave me alone.’

        THEN, shouldn’t they leave you alone? in my experience, saying such a thing makes them stick to you like glue even more so.

        • If they actually say it very implicitly, then yes.

          A lot of people just have a dislike of salespeople and will say “just looking”, and when asked what they are looking for, will immediately tell you what they are looking for. Then, we help them and they leave happy with their purchase.

          • I wonder if its something that’s like a cultural subconscious. Like store workers are all labeled salespeople until otherwise. Therefore they all work on commission and are going to sell me shit I dont want.

            But the reality is that… A lot of people are hourly. Buy, don’t buy. At the end of the day, I still get paid.

  2. Quite simply put , when I shop I like to look for myself , if I require assistance I will come to the sales assistant. Win win all the way , the sales assistant can keep doing what he/she is doing and I can just walk in browse and walk out if I see nothing I need/like.
    Stores should stop trying to push their stuff on customers.

      • Because a good percentage of the time, ‘Hi, how are you?’ is the introduction to the mandatory ‘approach and engage’ spiel that so many companies now require of their employees.

        I actually do prefer to be left alone while I shop. A simple greeting is fine, but once I hear the employee wind up for their recitation, I automatically tune them out. I feel bad for doing it, but we both know they’re only doing it because they HAVE to.

        And damn management to hell for making them do it.

        • So what? It’s a polite greeting and deserves a polite greeting in return. That’s just common courtesy.

          There’s no point getting aggro at someone for something you think they might to do, you’ll only stress yourself out needlessly.

        • I like being greeted. “Hi, how are you? Anything I can help you find?” works, since it’s customer-focused. Begging me to buy something specific doesn’t, since it’s corporation-focused. Asking me if I’m interested in their lingerie or perfume on sale, however, is offensive to me and I would leave immediately (unless my girlfriend had dragged me into Victoria’s Secret or Sephora, of course).

        • And don’t think for a moment we don’t know that.

          I can tell whenever I start the required “welcome to the store, please buy something” spiel and they initiate their “I’m not listening but we’ll play along” canned response set. Sometimes I want to just throw in the line “severed head” to see if they are actually listening.

  3. Amber’s mistake was asking the back of the customer’s head instead of his face. There’s something threatening about people who, out of the blue and standing behind you suddenly starting a conversation.

  4. A simple greeting like this should not be annoying, and this customer has a look of guilt, like he’d rather not be observed stealing.
    But if a clerk comes up to me to ask if he/she can help me find something, I’ll let them know I’m glad they are here just in case, but if they help me now, I won’t see all the other merchandise that catches my eye, to either buy now or remember for later.

  5. I really prefer to just be left alone as well. I don’t think corporate offices know what a turn off it is to most shoppers to have an employee breathing down their neck (or so it seems) when they merely come in to browse. They probably lose way more sales than they gain.

    • Sure, but there’s a big difference between a polite greeting and a single “may I help you” and breathing down the customer’s neck, and the former should never be mistaken for or assumed to be the precursor to the latter. (And if you do make that mistake then really that’s on you, not on the staff member who is only doing their job)

  6. After more years than I care to admit in and around the retail world I can say that the people who get aggitated by being asked if they need help will also scream the loudest about not being able to find staff when left alone.

  7. “CAN’T I JUST LOOK?!”

    No, but you can certainly overreact ridiculously. Sheesh.

    I get that it’s annoying to have a salesperson tagging along. I do. But Amber just greeted him; she’s still standing behind the counter. And screaming at the employee is ridiculous and childish.

  8. Well, one of the reasons why sales people greets is in fact to avoid theft.
    When a potential thief has been spoken to and feels watched he is way more unlikely to actually go through with the theft. This has been proven to work, stores where the sales personal don’t ask has at least twice the amount of theft as the stores that do.

    So if it feels uncomfortable and like you are being watched…. That’s the intend.
    Sucks that well meaning people are being caught in the cross fire though :/

  9. I’m thankful to say that I’ve never been asked how I am by anyone in a shop. I think I’d leave at once, because that’s a bit of a rude question by someone I’ve never seen before, isn’t it?! What people usually say is “Can I help you with anything?” and I say, “No thanks” and they go away. That’s okay. But stop pretending you give a toss about how I *am* – you force me either to lie pointlessly or tell you things you didn’t want to know.

    • Yeah, that can be an invitation to hear about all the problems in the customer’s life. “How am I? Well let me give you a list of all that’s wrong in my life!” LOL

    • disagree, many of the places I shop at the cashiers say how are you today, and I always say fine thanks and you – – neither of us really care but sometimes its nice to just hear someone ask

      • Hi, how are you is a standard greeting, at least in the English-speaking world. It’s not actually intended as a cue to begin listing your health or personal problems. Most people know that the appropriate answer is something like fine, how are you? And then you’re done. No big deal.

        • Hodge is right. It’s polite basic small talk. If you can’t handle ‘Hi, how are you?’ ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ ‘I’m fine, need any help today?’ then you need to get out more and brush up on your basic niceties. Even if you hear/say it 100 times a day, it’s considered common courtesy to acknowledge the other person’s existence in such a way.

  10. We are required to “greet” every customer. We can’t read the customers mind to know they’re “just looking”, and we get downgraded on secret shop reports if we miss a greet. We also are required to ask open ended questions (who, what, how, where, when). It’s not about being rude or invasive, it’s about letting the customer know we are not ignoring them, that we’re there for them. A simple and polite “just looking” is all that is required as a response. Snapping at someone who can has to sit there and take it is unfair and unkind. It is very wearing, and can become very hard to just let go.

  11. Forced smile, “good, thanks” and keep walking. Now at least you know where a staff member is if you need one.

    These people would hate shopping in Japan, where the staff greets you at the entrance and hounds you the entire trip more often than not. But the stores are immaculate, and I bet there’s less shoplifting!

  12. I once asked a customer if he needed a hand with anything. This was shortly after the first Gulf War, he turned around and asked if I was being funny. I never saw him from the front. I apologized 500 times and he said to relax he was just messing with me. Still I never used “need a hand with anything” again.

  13. We have to greet and try and start a “non-business” conversation, then do a 180 pass by ( I still haven’t really figured that out), and then push add ons and emails at the register. Ugh. I hate being asked about those things and bothered while shopping, so I hate doing it to other people.

  14. I had a guy throw a fit when I said hello to him, and I walked away. He seemed surprised. I think he wanted the attention.

  15. I consider it a major boundary intrusion when a salesperson interrupts my train of thought and forces me to reply to them. Being greeted when my back is to them is incredibly rude. I’m not there to engage them in conversation, nor, since my back is turned to them, and I asking for assistance. No eye contact means I don’t want to talk to them. Period. It’s very akin to telemarketing, except in a store there is no polite way to hang up.

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