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About customer service in shops/post offices etc?

(25 Posts)
BeckerLleytonNever Fri 08-Apr-16 16:58:57

Took something to Asda this morning for a refund. woman behind desk starts my refund.
then phone rings behind her in shop. she answers it ans then proceeds to chit chat, nothing at all shop related.

even if it was shop related, should she not have seen to the customer- me- first? I thought it was very rude of her IMO, and said so,

I used to work in shops and the customer always came first, before answering calls.

same happened in post office last week. I was sending a parcel and getting stamps, and person there answered her personal mobile and started chatting, while I throat cleared and eventually said ''excuse me'' etc, as did other customers in the queue behind me.

Is it me who's wrong, or is it rude of people to do that?

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Fri 08-Apr-16 17:12:58

Have you seen 'Phonebooth'?

Peeps can't ignore a ringing phone. Impossible.

I agree with you, by the way, but I've stopped going to shops now as the whole shopping process has become totally weird and 1984ish.

Euphemia Fri 08-Apr-16 17:38:09

Very rude. I used to work in a very busy tourist office, and we were told to alternate dealing with one face to face customer, then one on the phone and so on. Never never never would we have tried to do both at once.

Justmuddlingalong Fri 08-Apr-16 17:43:52

It's almost as rude as a customer chatting on their phone when you're trying to serve them. Almost.

thecitydoc Fri 08-Apr-16 17:54:37

of course you are in the wrong, where have you been - do you not realise that in the 21st century the ringing phone has to be answered at all costs and on pain of death if not answered

BeckerLleytonNever Sun 10-Apr-16 16:39:30

Just yes, it goes both ways I know, but Id never be on a phone if talking to someone, id let my phone ring and whoever it is can leave a message till I can get back to them.

Citydoc grin.

HermioneJeanGranger Sun 10-Apr-16 17:50:40

YANBU, the customer in front of you should always come first.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Sun 10-Apr-16 18:16:46

Yadnbu about her answering her mobile!

Yanbu about the official phone either, if she had to answer it she should've said "excuse me I just have to get that" and then kept it brief/asked them to ring back/offered to ring them back

I work in a call centre and gnash my teeth when someone answers the door/another phone whilst talking to me, even though it's just bad timing (I do wish they'd let the other phone go to voicemail tho).

DreamADream Sun 10-Apr-16 18:24:38

Yanbu. I worked in a shop years ago and the customer in front of you always, always came before the phone. I recently worked in another shop though and got a massive bollocking if I didn't answer the phone straight away no matter what I was doing. It was bloody awful and I hated it!

Muskateersmummy Sun 10-Apr-16 18:26:22

Some places have a rule that a phone must be answered within x number of rings. But personally as a retail worker, i wouldn't answer a call if I was dealing with a customer (unless it was incessant and annoying, then I would excuse myself to the customer, answer and ask the caller to hold)

MrsHathaway Sun 10-Apr-16 19:35:03

YANBU in the slightest if she was chatting - just as wrong as if she'd spotted a mate coming into the shop and ignored you in favour of a catchup.

Even when the call has to be answered, pains should be taken to make the face-to-face customer feel important, eg "I'm sorry, I have to answer this ... hello Manager, I'm serving a customer at the till just now, is it urgent? ... I'm sorry about that; thanks for waiting" etc etc

PeteHornberger Sun 10-Apr-16 19:55:44

Something similar winds me up-if 2 staff members are behind a counter chatting and you approach waiting to be served and they carry on chatting whilst you stand there waiting like a twat for them to finish their conversation!

Fair enough if it's work related but I'm yet to be made to wait for a work related conversation - last time it was because one of them needed to hear about what the other one's neighbours had been up to. Drives me up the fucking wall - when I was customer facing like that, all idle chit- chat stopped the moment someone needed serving. Ridiculously rude and unprofessional.

JuxtapositionRecords Sun 10-Apr-16 20:02:39

I have never actually met a polite person who works at a post office. The staff in the one local to me don't even speak!

AdmiralCLingus Sun 10-Apr-16 20:32:31

kingjoff I have a specially developed skill in ignoring a ringing phone... I had the receptionist from one of our surgeries come over in a huff because no one had answered the phone to her.... I had it in my pocket and had been ignoring it all day in favour of speaking to patients face to face (otherwise known as my job ya know?)

AdmiralCLingus Sun 10-Apr-16 20:34:52

Just read that back and it reads as though I'm being sarcastic to you at the end.... it was directed at her being huffy about me not dropping everything to talk to her! she's a snotty cow at the best of times to be honest though

AnneElliott Sun 10-Apr-16 20:46:48

I agree with you OP. Standards have definitely slipped in retail. I used to work for M&S and you wouldn't dream of having a non work conversation in front of a customer! Nor would I have answered the phone if serving.

Our supervisor had a list of horrible jobs which she gave out to people caught doing anything like that.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 10-Apr-16 20:53:00

NotMe I don't know what call centre you work for but if I get one of "those" phone calls, I often say "Oh there's someone at the door, excuse me" and leave the phone by my TV which is whittering away.

I had a "Is that Mr70isaLimit the other day (after I'd said hello). I said "Do I sound like Mr70isaLimit and hung up.

If I have to take a personal call at work, I keep it very very brief unless it's an emergency in which case I'd excuse myself to privacy.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 10-Apr-16 20:59:41

What you could've done Becker was wait for the woman to finish her chat then say "I want a Supervisor here please"
Or as there was a queue, let her finish your refund then ask her to ring for a supervisor.
Shitty customer service.

And yes the people on the phone at the till are just as bad but the till operator can just process the sale and we can all glare judgily and mutter "How rude " . smile

I work in customer-facing environment (finance, not retail, but still customer-facing) and we only answer the phone if we aren't serving a face-to-face customer. It's much easier to call someone back than to keep a face-to-face customer waiting.

Lighteningirll Sun 10-Apr-16 21:42:17

I used to work in a PO we were very polite the postmaster (dh) had very strict rules about talking/phones/customer service * Juxtaposition* You are being quite rude

MrsHathaway Sun 10-Apr-16 21:58:17

Our post office moved. The staff in the old location were awful. The staff in the new location are without exception fantastic.

I have literally no idea how that happened.

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Mon 11-Apr-16 16:54:40

Juxtaposition wasn't being rude. She was speaking from experience, clearly. Unfortunately I've had the same negative experience at post offices. At my local one it's quite usual for there to be a massive queue and the 2 workers chatting away to each other as they slooooooowly serve customers. They also don't listen to what you're asking for. Rude rude rude.

BeckerLleytonNever Mon 11-Apr-16 16:57:39

I once walked out of a shop, leaving my purchases on the counter as 2 girls behind the counter were chatting and not serving me.

and im not trying to be 'precious', its the principle.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Apr-16 17:03:35

Careful with that admission, Becky.

I once did the same in a clothes shop. 2 girls behind the till, arms crossed, leaning against the back shelf, chatting about "He said... she said... he did... she did..."

I carry PostIt! notes sometimes, and occasionally leave notes... "Don't bother us, we're busy" went on the front of the till... I wasn't the only person who dropped their would be shopping on the floor and left!

Some MNers told me I was rude !!

CigarsofthePharoahs Mon 11-Apr-16 17:07:46

I used to work in retail and my attitude was always that the customer in front of me was more important than answering the phone. Sometimes I would glance over to see if it was an internal or external call - if it was from a manager I would try and call them back once I'd finished serving. They'd complain about the wait and I'd remind them that I was doing my job.
If I was mid phone conversation and a customer approached I would apologise about being on the phone and try and wrap things up as quickly as possible.
However, not long before I left the company got very arsey about how long it was taking for people to get through on the phone. My response was what I have written above with the added point that if they stopped trying to do everything on a shoestring and actually employed a sensible number of people then there might be someone free to answer the phone more often.

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