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I'll be right with you.

Why is it, if you are standing in a store and an employee is walking towards you but then a phone rings they deal with the phone instead of you? When YOU are standing PHYSICALLY in front of them, and a person on a phone is not?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
The telephone is the bane of the retail employee's existence. In general, my employees are trained to ignore the phone when it rings if they are dealing directly with a customer. It's a judgment call in the situation you describe because, at the end of the day, as much as you (the customer) would like to think you are the top priority, the employee's goal in that situation is to minimize hassle as much as possible. The employee can either answer the phone and put you on hold until they put the other person on hold, or they can give you customer service with a screaming telephone ringing off the hook for the entire time. In most cases, the customer is very forgiving and even understanding of the plight of the employee who has to do everything, including answer the phone while trying to help customers at the same time. In stores like mine, we have two phone lines, and often we can get buzzed by two calls at once.

The retail clerks are people too, as much as you like to pretend they're not, and they are also fallible and have emotions and experience stress and are undoubtedly underpaid. At the end of the day, they care more about being able to eat, pay rent, bills, and etc. than they care about giving a grumpy customer some excellent service. My advice: chill out, be more sympathetic, and complain less.

The real question I have is this: why is it that when customers phone you up, they automatically assume you are standing there behind the counter with absolutely nothing to fucking do?
May. 31st, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Because management knows how long the phone rings for, and how long people are on hold, and how many customers they lose because of hangups, and they can't measure customers dealt with on a personal basis.

If you want fast service, and you're in a Big Box, hit the 'for assistance' button that announces 'Help is needed in Video Games'. Those calls also are easily measurable, in quantity and length, and so if someone does turn from you like that, hit it.
Jun. 1st, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
I know this one!
It's because a person on the phone will assume the clerk is willfully ignoring them by not picking up. Whereas you can see that they are talking to another customer on the phone.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )