Meaningless Questions From Uninterested Employees

oshlogoHow often are you asked by a retail cashier if you “found everything ok?” Many are trained to ask this question. But do they care? If you’re like me, your usual answer to the question is “yes” or “sure” because that’s the truth or because any other answer isn’t going to help you anyway (at least that’s what I believe).

The other day at Orchard Supply Hardware (a store I frequent a lot and have noticed a distinct standard reduction since they were acquired by Lowes) when asked this question, I answered differently. Instead of saying yes, I said “mostly.” No different reaction than if I had said yes. Clearly I was open to buying more, but …

Why ask if you don’t care about the answer? Obviously because they’ve been trained to ask. And they hope the answer will always be yes because serving the customer, or helping the customer buy more, is not their focus. How much revenue are retailers losing by hiring minimum skill (at minimum wage) workers?

This, to me, is not that different from the training provided to retail people when they receive a complaint. They are taught to apologize. Nobody, apparently, teaches them that an apology only does its job if it is an apparently sincere apology. They’re just taught to apologize. So they don’t listen to the complaint, they just interrupt you to apologize.

Again I ask, how much money are brick and mortar retailers leaving on the “table” or driving customers online, by their focus on costs rather than value delivery?


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2 Responses to Meaningless Questions From Uninterested Employees

  1. Pingback: The Right Way to Deal with Angry Clients | The Startup Observatory

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