Author Topic: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk  (Read 5362 times)

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m2kbug

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2012, 05:31:04 PM »
No, I don't think this guy was rude.  It's one thing to wait for a short phone call, but this one sounded very long and he was first.  At places I've worked, phone calls are priority and we weren't supposed to put people on hold.  The physical person standing there could see you and has been acknowledged.  This can be a bit of a juggling act when you're by yourself.  You can't keep people waiting forever.  I think once it was determined this was going to be a very long phone call, she should have put that customer on hold and finished out the sale, or since there were several people up front, asked someone to help out, either by taking the call or helping the customer.  An apology for the interruption and wait was in order, finishing out the sale without the attitude, and complaining to the next customer was wrong.

Sharnita

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2012, 05:47:00 PM »
No, I don't think this guy was rude.  It's one thing to wait for a short phone call, but this one sounded very long and he was first.  At places I've worked, phone calls are priority and we weren't supposed to put people on hold.  The physical person standing there could see you and has been acknowledged.  This can be a bit of a juggling act when you're by yourself.  You can't keep people waiting forever.  I think once it was determined this was going to be a very long phone call, she should have put that customer on hold and finished out the sale, or since there were several people up front, asked someone to help out, either by taking the call or helping the customer.  An apology for the interruption and wait was in order, finishing out the sale without the attitude, and complaining to the next customer was wrong.

I can't see how somebody who has had their phone call answered and has been asked to wait hasn't also been acknowledged.

jaxsue

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2012, 05:58:56 PM »
I am a vendor at several Walmart stores. Their policy - at least from what I have seen - is that the customer in front of them comes first. The phone can be picked up at another dept.

Honestly, I'd be irritated if the scenario in the OP happened to me.

miranova

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2012, 06:07:29 PM »
WHY haven't any retail establishments picked up on the fact that people HATE it when someone leaves them to answer a phone?  I can understand if there is literally only one person working, but at places like Walmart?  No excuse.  There are at least a dozen employees at any one time.  Make one person in charge of the phone and it can't be the same person taking care of the first person in line.  I do not understand this at all.

There have been a million times that I've been put on hold and while I may be impatient (lol) it is not nearly as irritating as having someone interrupt a transaction to walk away and answer a phone.  I don't fault the worker unless there is another obvious alternative.  Like letting the employee who is NOT currently dealing with a customer answer the phone.  But I don't understand why management actually thinks that this is a good practice.

Miss March

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2012, 06:11:56 PM »
This is a very weak explanation for choosing to answer a phone over serving a waiting person, but I had one boss tell me "The phone call is a chance for you to capture new business, and the person waiting at the desk to be served is already guaranteed business."

ETA- I think it's a terrible business practice to make customers wait while you handle phone calls.
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m2kbug

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2012, 06:53:24 PM »
No, I don't think this guy was rude.  It's one thing to wait for a short phone call, but this one sounded very long and he was first.  At places I've worked, phone calls are priority and we weren't supposed to put people on hold.  The physical person standing there could see you and has been acknowledged.  This can be a bit of a juggling act when you're by yourself.  You can't keep people waiting forever.  I think once it was determined this was going to be a very long phone call, she should have put that customer on hold and finished out the sale, or since there were several people up front, asked someone to help out, either by taking the call or helping the customer.  An apology for the interruption and wait was in order, finishing out the sale without the attitude, and complaining to the next customer was wrong.

I can't see how somebody who has had their phone call answered and has been asked to wait hasn't also been acknowledged.

I agree, but those were the rules.  I guess the idea is a human being is right there and can see you while the person on hold is out there...on hold.  I don't know.  I don't like it when my transaction gets interrupted.  I am moderately patient, but like this man, if I realized that this phone call was going to go on forever, I would have spoken up as well.  My opinion, anybody could have answered the phone.  Since the cashier did stop the transaction to answer the phone, she could have put the person on hold, finished the transaction, and gotten back to that person on the phone.  A cigarette or lottery sale isn't a very lengthy process. 

sunnygirl

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2012, 06:58:28 PM »
I feel bad if the employee was forced to neglect her customer to answer the phone because of corporate policy, but it's still rude - it's just rudeness by proxy (the company's act of rudeness via the employee). However, the employee gripping about one of her customers to another customer, that's rudeness that is 100% on her.

Judah

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2012, 07:02:41 PM »
I feel bad if the employee was forced to neglect her customer to answer the phone because of corporate policy, but it's still rude - it's just rudeness by proxy (the company's act of rudeness via the employee). However, the employee gripping about one of her customers to another customer, that's rudeness that is 100% on her.

Agreed. And neither of the customers were rude at all.
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floridamom

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2012, 07:06:58 PM »
I've worked in retail in several different types of stores. At the very least, I would have taken the phone call, and as I was listening, I would have allowed the man to purchase his cigarettes.

Exactly.. I was always taught to multi-task and still acknowledge the customer and not keep them waiting. 

Ps. diesel_darlin.. love your moniker ;)

siamesecat2965

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2012, 07:35:16 PM »
It depends what her instructions are.

Now personally, I wouldn't have answered the phone if there were customers in front of me, but if she's been told to take calls straight away then that's what she has to do. These decisions are typically made by people higher up than her and she has to follow their decisions.

This very well may have been what happened. I know in my store, we MUST answer the phone by the third ring. And sometimes we are all busy, so it means we have to interrupt a transaction, and pick it up. what we will do, however, is simply say i'll have to put you on hold, i'm in the middle of ringing someone up. 

She could have done this, but its also possible her instructions from on high are to ansswer the phone, and help that person, even if you're helping someone right in front of you.

Bijou

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2012, 08:34:14 PM »
No the guy buying cigarettes was not rude, the clerk was. She interrupted his transaction for a phone call, let him wait instead of taking care of him and then complained about him asking to be taken care of.  And if she is going to complain to the other customer I do not feel it was rude for him to tell her how he would feel. I *hate* it when I am being waited on and they expect me to wait for someone who calls  in.
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Figgie

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2012, 09:12:33 PM »
Interesting discussion.  Lots of viewpoints that I hadn't considered. :)

I don't have a clue what the store policy is on how to handle phone calls.  I do know that I've only called that particular store a couple of times in a ten plus year period and one of those times I was put on hold and the other time I wasn't.

Amara

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2012, 09:36:58 PM »
Quote
I had one boss tell me "The phone call is a chance for you to capture new business, and the person waiting at the desk to be served is already guaranteed business."

This really stands out for me. If I was at the desk waiting to be served at this boss's business I can guarantee him it would be a lost business.

snowdragon

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2012, 10:00:27 PM »
Quote
I had one boss tell me "The phone call is a chance for you to capture new business, and the person waiting at the desk to be served is already guaranteed business."

This really stands out for me. If I was at the desk waiting to be served at this boss's business I can guarantee him it would be a lost business.

It would be for me too.  And it could cost them the potential business of everyone I told and an irate letter to who ever I could write to tell them WHY I was not giving them anymore business. 

KenveeB

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Re: Odd Interaction At The Customer Service Desk
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2012, 11:20:40 PM »
Quote
I had one boss tell me "The phone call is a chance for you to capture new business, and the person waiting at the desk to be served is already guaranteed business."

This really stands out for me. If I was at the desk waiting to be served at this boss's business I can guarantee him it would be a lost business.

It would be for me too.  And it could cost them the potential business of everyone I told and an irate letter to who ever I could write to tell them WHY I was not giving them anymore business.

Ditto. l can and have walked out when a cashier abandons me in the middle of a transaction for someone else, whether on the phone or another customer walking up. It's rude and horribly unprofessional.