I’m not a Scroogey person, I promise, but I am ready to not only be done with this holiday season, but I feel I can kiss this entire year goodbye without an ounce of sadness.

That being said, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a bright and shiny new year!

I’d like to dedicate the point of this entire entry to the gentlemen I had the pleasure of being assisted by at the A/X store in the Barton Creek Square Mall on Christmas Eve.

My sister, lets call her Sue, and I had some last minute shopping to do on Christmas Eve, and by “she and I” I mostly mean she because my shopping was actually done and I was there mostly to keep her company and give a second opinion when it was called for. She’ll probably want to shoot me for this (assuming that she takes the time to read this update), but Sue is not the easiest person to shop with, and by no means the easiest person to assist. At the point when we were approached by Clinton of A/X we were actually arguing. Sue

Clinton from A/X of Barton Creek Mall

believed I was rushing her and I was of the opinion that I was merely keeping her on schedule. It was 3 pm and the mall was closing at 6 pm and at this point she had yet to buy a single gift. Clinton was very friendly, in spite of which my sister declined his help, so I mentioned that Sue was looking for a gift for my Father. To make a very long story short, over- looking our bad tempers, some shortness, and an incident with a “pilly” sweater, Clinton was very patient, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. I left the store in a much better mood than I had been in when I came in.  Working in retail myself, I truly appreciate exceptional client service. The gentlemen we encountered in that store had every reason to be cranky. It was Christmas Eve and instead of being home with their families they were working, dealing with countless cranky people in search of last minute gifts, but instead they were kind, attentive, and made me feel better about my entire day.

This experience also led me to thinking about being a client. I know that since I started working in retail, it’s really changed my views entirely when it comes to my service expectations, but it’s also changed the expectations I place on myself as a client. I think it’s something we should all put a little more thought into. I’m not trying to throw my sister, Sue, under the bus, but quite frankly, she’s the type of client that would frustrate the hell out of me.  I think we should all try to adapt a certain kind of client ettiquettte.  Here’s a short list of things to keep in mind from my perspective as a sales person…

  • Admit that you need help– I’m not trying to say that it’s never ok to tell a sales person that you know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it. That’s fine. However, if you really aren’t sure, or even if you’re only browsing, allow the sales person to do their job. Don’t just blow them off, ask for suggestions, ask about where you might find sales, specials, or new products, and take advantage of their knowledge.  This is what they are trained and paid for, when you don’t give them that opportunity, it’s only making it look to their bosses like they aren’t doing their job. Once you’ve actually interacted with your sales person, it’s perfectly ok to politely ask to brows on your own and assure them that you’ll let them know if you need anything.
  • Don’t argue with your sales person– this ones a hard one to swallow, but trust me, it’s not only rude, it makes a sales person’s job really difficult. One of the most frustrating things in my line of work is having someone ask me how to do something and then having to listen to them tell me how I’m wrong. When you’re in a store it’s the sales person’s world, they’re up close and personal with the products on a daily basis, they speak the native language, respect that and listen.
  • If they offer you a basket, take the damn basket– I don’t really feel this warrants expounding upon, it’s not going to hurt you to take the basket, just take it.
  • If you expect excellent service, be prepared to reward excellent service– If that means tipping extra, recognizing a particular person to a manager, or filling out a company survey in order to show appreciation by name to a specific associate, make the effort. Give meaning to the job well done by acknowledging it. It matters!
  • R. E. S. P. E. C. T.- just because someone is at your service, DOES NOT make them your slave. ‘Nough said.
  • Make their day– this is something we try to do with each of our clients at my store, and I think it applies just as much in reverse. We should strive to be kind and be an improvement to one another’s day. Go out of your way to make the person you’re working with feel less like a faceless robot.
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