"The customer is always right." This is a mantra that has guided customer service in the retail industry for many decades and still persists today. From a customer point of view, this mantra gives them leeway to behave anyway they like towards retail sales clerks. So how should customers treat retail sales clerks? Let's look at some ways.
1. Be too good to be true. Why not greet retail sales clerks with a good morning, good afternoon, or whatever salutation is appropriate? Smile even when you are told that the store does not have the product you are looking for in stock, or when the store does not carry your size. Try to say thank you whenever a retail sales clerk has assisted you in some way. Be polite when asking questions about product features or availability. In short, be as courteous as you would prefer to be treated yourself.
2. Don't be a two-faced customer. You probably have an idea about this type of customer. You are polite at first. You will return the greeting or smile that comes your way when you come through the door. You will politely ask questions about a product, its features and availability. And if you get the right answers, then you let the clerk have an easy sale.
But what if you didn't get the answer you wanted to hear? Do you put on a cold face? Are you the type of customer who does not like the word "No"? No, sir, we don't have that available. No, ma'am, we do not have your size. Regardless of whether it is the retail sales clerk's fault or not, do you take issue with it and turn obnoxious on the poor retail sales clerk? Are you one of the types of customers who makes a scene and embarrasses the retail sales clerk in front of other people, or makes rude remarks that will ruin the retail sales clerk's day?
3. Finally, don't be the kind of customer who sales clerks believe should never be left out alone in a retail store! Are you one of these "The-Customer-Is-Always-Right" people who don't even need a reason to be rude? Do you believe that you are superior to the retail sales clerk, and that it is their rightful place to wait upon you as if you were the Queen of England? Sometimes this kind of rudeness only serves the purpose of showing the retail sales clerk that there is a perceived difference in status. The retail sales clerk is making an honest living and should not be subjected to this kind of treatment. They may even be at risk of dismissal if they meet you on a bad day.
Next time you are in a store, think about the retail sales clerk as a fellow human being and about how you would wish to be treated if you were working in the same position.
After reading this, which kind of customer are you going to be?