Why has customer service become so superficial? 65



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Over the weekend just gone, I thought I’d treat myself with some shopping. I’m not a huge shopper but I do like to go every now and then. But something I’ve noticed more and more is the inane questions you get asked!

I walked into a women’s clothes store and was greeted by a perky sales assistant. She was lovely from the outset, but her questions were bordering on idiotic. “What are you up to this weekend?” “How’d you go?” Let’s be honest, they don’t care about your outfit or your weekend! And hey, I’m not expecting they do, but it’s just that superficial voice and attitude they put on that makes you feel a little sad about the state of customer service.

I remember going into a department store or even your local women’s clothing shop and the attendant being genuinely interested in where you were from and what your style was. They were happy to look for outfits with you and give you an honest opinion. Now I feel like because I don’t fit into the under 25 category (once you cross over, they never take a second look at you, you may as well by 90!), I get the stock standard “she’s too old for these clothes, so we’ll work around it by assuming she wants a sack” – at least that’s what their tone implies!

Even outside the shopping mall there’s lost opportunities for customer service everywhere. The other day I saw a woman ask to have her baby bottle warmed up at McDonald’s and the look on the staff member’s face was one of sheer annoyance. How dare a paying customer ask for you to put something in the microwave for 20 seconds!

And what about when you go to the bakery? I used to love going in to get my loaves and having a chat to the ladies. Now I get a teenager who clearly wants to be elsewhere who never remembers my order, despite seeing me every few days. It’s either she has the memory of the goldfish or she just doesn’t want to go the extra mile.

I fear the day when we live in a world where we’ll be faced with a robot or machine is coming up far too quickly – but we all know just how important it was to have those smiling, genuine faces.


Tell us, do you miss the days when everyone know your name and you could have a good chat at the shops? 

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I went shopping on Saturday. The ladies at Millers were lovely and genuine. Everywhere else – nope!

    4 REPLY
    • Did you see a white jacket with navy blue stripes? I bought that, I am not buying much but I have white pants and I will team it with a red cami. I have not worn it yet, I just look at it and smile..lasts longer that way 🙂

    • The last Millers I went to, the shop assistant didn’t even want to know if I wanted anything. Talk about being ignored! I bought two jackets though and they were both very nice, a reasonable price and fitted well.. The Millers where I used to shop had lovely staff and some of those have gone to Rockmans, Now their staff are lovely!!! .

    • Credit where it’s due, Fran. My wife, even in her last years in a wheelchair, loved to be well dressed. Full marks to the staff at Millers in Burnie for their service. Difficult for her to go from display rack to display rack so they, knowing her wants, would make the selections and bring them back to her. Great service!

  2. Haha They had some great stuff in there. I got a nice top to wear to the Lion King on Thursday. Do you think the service is better in these shops because the sales people are older?

    1 REPLY
  3. I have found that it all depends where you shop, some assistants are very friendly and some stores you go to your damn lucky if you can even find anyone to serve you, and then when you do find someone you feel like you have interrupted their day, which is obvious immediately, that’s when I walk away because I don’t tolerate rudeness to well.

  4. Totally agree with this customer service doesn’t exist in a lot of shops these days

  5. You get true customer service when you shop in sole/trader, privately owned boutiques. Some of those businesses are generational. Customer service is ‘in their blood’ Continue to shop in the ‘chain’ market , and you will receive your ‘plastic ‘comments. These people are encouraged to talk to you, to make a sale, to reach a required number of sales, and they think that is the way to do it. Sure, this is a generalisation, but it has more than a grain of truth. Buy locally. Support the sole trader.

    1 REPLY
    • I go to one shop privately owned and the owner tries to push me into anything. I back right off then. I have bought some nice things but I don’t need to be told everything looks lovely, I have two eyes and a mirror and if it’s too tight or not flattering, it is not lovely. Cannot stand people just there to make a sale.

  6. I suspect that these shop assistants are trained to ask these questions. I do get these sort of questions from the checkout people at Coles. They probably all go to the same training seminars.

  7. Well, I think we as customers also need to instigate a chat or a questions, but you are right, some shop assistance simply can’t be bother to assist, I once went to 3 shops before I could get any one to advise me on a purchase, assistant was openly bored, and could not be bothered to answers any of my questions.

  8. Haha Leanna, I got the clothes and good service from Millers. I am going to Melbourne on Thursday and going to see the Lion King musical.

    6 REPLY

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