Things businesses think are great customer service that aren't

Fantastic customer service! NOT.

-reading my name off a credit card or discount card and addressing me by it. Doesn’t make me feel special. Creeps me out. Especially because I don’t socially use the name printed on most stuff.
-asking me if I found everything I needed when I get to the cash register at the grocery store. Ya know if I haven’t found it by then, there’s no chance I’m giving up my space in line to run back and find it. As if the cashier could tell me where stuff was anyway. Someone out in the aisles who actually knew where to find stuff, now that would be helpful
-waiters not writing stuff down and keeping everybody’s orders in their head does not impress me with their mental prowess, it just makes me anxious that my salad will come w/dried cranberries when I specifically asked for them to be left off.
-waiters reeling off 5 specials w/ 10 ingredients each also does not impress me. How am I supposed to remember all that stuff? And tell me the prices dammit. You got a copier? Print the stupid specials out.

How about helplines that act as if replacing the wrong/faulty product you recieved is somehow magnanimous?

What? You mean I can have the item I bought? Gee, thanks, that makes me forget all about you screwing it up to begin with, I never expected such courtesy!

Grr, fix my shit and kiss my ass, and then I might think of forgiving your stupidity!

“Your call is very important to us. Please continue to hold.”

If the call was truly important to them, they wouldn’t have made me wait on hold for forty minutes.

Sales clerks that pounce on you immediately upon your entering the store.

“Is there anything I can help you find!?!! HUH??!? IS THERE?!?! NO? You say you want to look on your own for thirty seconds first? Can I help you by breathing down your neck? PANT PANT PANT!?!?!”

Asking if you want help the minute you enter the store.

Recently, at a very busy supermarket, a bored-looking young clerk asked me (as he asked everyone who came to the register) “Did you find everything you were looking for?”

I answered, “No, l was hoping to find some chipotle peppers, and I never did find any. Can you tell me whether the store sells chipotles?”

The clerk shrugged and said “How the hell would I know?”

Yup, great customer service. :rolleyes:

Just play the music while I’m on hold. I can ignore that and do something else while holding the phone to my ear. But hearing the recorded voice catches my attention, because maybe, just maybe, it’s someone actually picking up the phone. I won’t feel ignored or unloved or something if I don’t hear a human voice from the phone for all of 30 seconds- really.

A couple of times, I’ve seen them send a bagboy in search of the half-liter carton of soy milk, or whatever it was the customer couldn’t find. It might inconvenience others in line, but if the customer’s buying a lot of stuff, the bagboy might be back before the cashier is done ringing up the customer.

On the other hand, most places that have a premium on such a variety of specials, want the cachet of having it told to the patron, not for them to read. And there is a clientele that does prefer that style. :dubious:

Personally, what bothers me is when the waitservice staff comes by just as you put something into your mouth, to ask how the meal is. It always feels like they’re trying to force a ‘no more effort required’ response from me.

Likewise, when waitservers bring your change from your check and there are no ones. It feels to me as though there has been an attempt to force the patron to use a larger bill to meet the tip amount. (If the waitserver apologises, because of a lack of ones, that negates the pressure, in my mind.)

Yeah, that one makes me turn and run immediately.

It reminds me of a clothing store chain called “The Merry-Go-Round”. In the 80’s, this was theee funky store that all trend-respecting 20-somethings frequented.

But the SECOND you darkened their door there would be 2 maybe 3 salespeople that would run up and say “What can I help you find? What’s your favorite color? Oh, these jeans would look great on you! How many items do you want to try on…I can start a dressing room for you”. Even worse, if you tried something on they would say things like “It’s great…and it’s on saaaa-yul. Oh, you gotta get it, what’s 50 bucks?” It was maddening, I tell ya.

They would even stand at the entrance as you walked by in the mall and say things like “We’re having a great sale, come on in and look around!!” or “We’ve got a belt that would look awesom with those jeans”.

I went to Burger King the other morning, and as the girl was putting my coffee into a paper bag, I told her I didn’t need a bag for my coffee. She replied that she had to put it in a bag. After I picked it up, I took the coffee out and tossed the bag back onto the drive-thru window ledge. She snatched it up with a huff as if I’d offended her mightily.

If they’re worried about hot coffee spills, wouldn’t putting it in a bag make it more likely to spill?

Waiters and waitresses who constantly ask you “is everything OK? How’s the food?” while you’re trying to have a pleasant meal. If there’s a problem, I’ll let you know PDQ.

I’ve never understood this one. I mean, you’re at a restaurant…once you’ve got your plate in front of you, 75% of the time you’re going to have something in your mouth. Just pure odds mean that more often or not, the waitron is going to be wandering by when you’re chewing on something.

I didn’t mean that it wasn’t anything but random chance. On a rational analysis - yours is the likely true answer. Which is why I tried to make it clear that I believe my reaction is idiosyncratic, and not necessarily fair.


I understand the word waitron, as you’re using it. And I doubt you mean anything by it, other than to find a gender neutral term for waitservice personnel. But it rubs me the wrong way. Does anyone else share that prejudice?

I’m not trying to make you, Neurotik, nor anyone else change their usage - I don’t think I’ll use the word, but that doesn’t mean that it is a ‘wrong’ word to use.


Two things at the grocery store…

When you’re giving me my change, and you lay the bills across the palm of my hand, then the receipt, then balance the coins right in the center. What am I supposed to do with that, ball my hand up into a fist and just crumple the paper around the coins? Maybe this works for a woman with her purse open and poised so she can slide the change right into the coin purse. But I’m a guy. I need the rest of the hand free so I actually grasp the coins and put them in my left front pocket. Give me the change first, then the bills (I’ll grasp them between my fingers) and just put the receipt in the bag, okay?

When you put my groceries in the plastic bags, don’t tie the two handles together. Sometimes I buy three, or even four bags of groceries, and if I can get my hands through the handles, I can just carry them to my car and not have to fuss with the cart. (In fact, I always use just a carry basket when I’m shopping.) If you just leave the bag alone, the handles will stand up nice and straight, and it’s no problem to reach through all of them and pick them up. When you tie them, the handles stick out to the sides, directly opposite each other. I can pick up the first bag fine, but now I’ve got one on my hand and I have to twist and turn to get the second. The third is harder still. Just leave the handles alone. Why are you tying them in the first place?

Got day-um. You must shop for men’s suits on a semiregular basis. Og forbid you even try to find your own size off the racks. You’d think you were insulting the venerable old bespoke tailor they haven’t got in the back room.

Don’t act as though you are doing me a MAJOR favor to do what you are receiving a paycheck for doing. I don’t care if it is food sevice, automotive, retail, whatever. Do your job, PLEASE, and I will be out of here. Don’t make me get ugly.
You won’t like me when I’m ugly.

My call center prides itself on excellent customer service. One of their benchmarks is an average speed of answer time under 15 seconds. They achieve this by answering the call as soon as it’s presented and immediately placing it on hold until they can get around to it.

I swear all the major grocery chains have the same customer service consultant because when one starts to do something different, they all do it. A while back it was reading my name back to me - “Thank you, Mr. Mundane”. My real name is pretty easy to pronounce, but 50% of the clerks would get it wrong. As someone else said, it’s creepy.

The new thing is to ask “Do you need any help out with that?” I swear I could have purchased a bag of marshmallows and and some lightbulbs and they’d ask me if I need some assistance carrying that load to my car. I’m 6’3" and 230 pounds, does it look like I need help?

And what’s with the three foot long receipts all of a sudden?

Most restaurants, including the one I currently manage has a policy known as the 2 bite check back. So my servers (the prefered, gender neutral word) always come back around. We also have a five foot rule, so that anytime any member of the staff from the manager to the bus boy walks within 5 feet of you, they are going to say something to you. It may be annoying, but we’d rather you didn’t feel ignored. And believe it or not, we’re graded on this stuff.