Public Interest Courtesy Rule #10

retailbag.jpgThere is nothing more appropriate and more pleasing for a customer than when sales assistants and other shop staff treat them with respect. It should also be noted that it is because of the continued desire of customers to shop in their stores which keeps sales assistants employed.

Sometimes no doubt because they are so dedicated to their work and focussed on the task at hand these staff members forget that customers are the most important people in the store.

Staff can sometimes go so far as failing to acknowledge customers when they make a purchase, either ignoring them completely or failing to engage at all, preferring instead to discuss their credit card bills or finishing time with their nearby work colleague. At other times staff members will walk directly in front of a customer while they are browsing store merchandise either blocking them completely or pushing through without consideration or offering an apology.

Please remember that customers are a necessary evil in this world of consumerism and retail therapy, especially if you are in the employ of one of these sales establishments. Therefore at least a base level of civility in dealing with these valued people would certainly not go astray. Perhaps a smile, a kind word or at the very least a passing acknowledgement is most certainly in order.


  1. Navilyn

    Let me first say that when I first moved to America, I had a serious culture shock, and from time to time, still do…

    In London, you’re not ‘greated’ or ‘welcomed’ to a shop. You’ll be lucky if the assistant says hello, EVEN IF you’re buying / bought something…

    So, now you can see the picture – me moving to Atlanta, and every shop I go to people ‘welcome’ me in, and say, ‘thank you’, and ‘have a nice day’. At first for me, it was rather annoying (not being use to it), and now am slowly, but surely getting use to it…

    Like they say,”When in Rome…”

  2. LuckySnap

    I guess sometimes you take things for granted. I have been treated both ways as a customer, and its not just from country to country. I grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Minnesota about 15 years ago. Minnesota has this term, “Minnesota Nice”, but believe me it is not true everywhere you go…..And alot of people think of the New England area as tough with the eastern accents and all.

    I agree with you though – I usually dont go back into a store that I felt I was ignored or mistreated. They dont deserve me or my money as a customer. Good post!

    I found you through Lee’s Blog. I love your pictures, as I am into photography as well. I think my favorite pictures are the ones on your About Me page. The dogs nose and the paws walking to the water. I love that one. It draws you in.

    I look forward to seeing and reading more on your blog!

  3. amit

    Nice blog there l;iked sm of those film reviews especially as itoo write reviews.

    can we blogroll each other. Mine is an entertainment blog and would be really happy if you could help me popularise it by adding it to your blog roll.Thx a million.
    this is my blog.. http://www.ktima.wordpress.comDo comment on my blog and let me know

  4. Tracey

    Hi Navilyn – Cultural differences permeate into so many parts of our lives, it’s just incredible when you start to examine things as simple as customer service. Customer service in Australia used to be much better than it is now. There are some stores which are so unpleasant to be in and purchase from that I avoid them altogether…

    Hi LuckySnap – Thanks for your kind comments. I think the desire for good service really has to be universal, but I guess what we mean by good service will differ around the world. Thanks also for your nice comments regarding my photos, I wish I had more time to dedicate to taking more shots…one day perhaps.

    Hi Amit – Yep, no problems consider it done. Thanks for passing through.

  5. Tisha

    Yes salespeople reflect the image of the company and can be its strongest branding tool but sometimes I get the feeling that they couldn’t care less about their company or people in general and the latter makes me wonder why they got into a rep job in the first place.

  6. amit

    hi there u commented on my blog saying that u added me in ur blogroll.But i cannot find my blog anywhere there . 🙂
    I added u inmy blogroll hope u too add me.

  7. Tracey

    Hi Amit – You’re in there for sure, my blogroll shuffles itself so it randomly goes through my entire list.

  8. jan

    I am fortunate enough to live in a smaller city where a lot of shops are owned by the people who work there. It is such a pleasure to shop in these stores. So much of customer service in the chains today is just taking your money and not even making eye contact.

  9. Tracey

    Hi Jan – That must be a happy circumstance! I can’t imagine what actually dealing with a friendly soul must be like…things of course weren’t always so bad, but I think things are moving at a frantic pace and such things as customer service are deemed to be unnecessary.

  10. Nico

    Oh, this is definitley one of my biggest peeves.

    Especially the sales assistant who acts put out when you want to get an item from a shelf they’re re-stocking (who do they think they’re stocking the shelves for, if not for the customers?!?)

  11. Tracey

    Hi Nico – Yeah, it irritates the hell out of me too!! I know what you mean about how the sales assistants have the audacity to get annoyed at a customer….I had an experience like that recently at a local bookstore. After all, why would anyone feel the need to look in the reference section??? Silly me.

    Customer service in all its forms used to matter…but obviously not any more.

  12. A

    What an interesting read – I’ve just finished the series (so far?) of your courtesy rules and I must say, if only others took just a moment to consider them I think we’d alleviate a lot of ‘problems’ instantly!

    Anyway I just wanted to add, for a laugh I guess, maybe you should consider adding to one of your points for shop assistants: “Do not throw stock at your customers”. I’ve had this happen so many times (intentionally, probably not but then again excessive paranoia isn’t a good trait). 😉

  13. Tracey

    Hi A – Thanks so much for your kind comments. Yes the series of courtesy rules will be continuing…there should be another listed within the next few days.

    I think that common courtesy is something to be mindful of always especially when things feel so frantic all the time…as for having stock thrown at you!!??!! Now that’s a little disturbing…I certainly hope it was nothing too heavy!! 8)

    Hope to see you again here soon!!

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