Lazy shop assistants who lie...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by gaybriel, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. gaybriel

    gaybriel Member

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    ...about items being out of stock.

    Unless in a shop where the assistant or I can check stock levels electronically, I never take their word for it when something I want is not on the shelves.

    Happened again today. I just kept asking different assistants until one finally bothered to go to the stockroom to check and I got what I wanted. One even said that if it's not on the shelf then it's out of stock.

    Why can't people do their job properly? Rant over. :cool:
     
  2. LookingCurious

    LookingCurious New Member

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    I'm not really a shop assistant or clerk or cashier or anything..i don't really have a title, we're really informal (I guess at other stores they're called general managers), but in my position I do have a fairly in depth and intimate knowledge of our inventory. I know what we do have and what we don't; sometimes down to the unit.

    However, there are times when I don't know or that I simply lie.

    -If I am assisting a customer (or anyone else including my employees and/or suppliers/vendors) and you rudely interrupt, then I am going to be less inclined to actually check for you. I have had customers physically place themselves between me and the person I am talking to and tell me that I need to check "in the back" for an item they are looking for. That's certainly not a way to convince me to help you.

    -All of the POS computer systems that our cashiers use have direct access to our inventory system. The cashiers generally know if its in stock or not. So if I see that a cashier or other employee has told the customer that we are out of stock, and then they approach me asking me to check in the back, I'm probably not going to do it.

    - If the customer is acting in a manner that is just generally disrespectful, then I'm definitely not going to put any effort into helping them.

    Also you have to remember, that in many cases, you may not have been the first person to ask for an item. In that situation its unnecessary to 'check the back' for an item; because we have already.

    On the other hand, when I'm dealing with any of my regular customers or any customer who approaches me in a respectful manner, even when I'm certain that we are out of a particular item I may walk to the back and do a double check or even bring up the inventory system on the laptop and let them see that we are out, just as a way to show them that they are valued and that they're worth a bit of extra effort.
     
  3. LookingCurious

    LookingCurious New Member

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    Also I'll add:

    As a customer myself, I do know that often times the only way to get a real answer is to ask multiple people, but I would be careful; if you ask one person and they actually see you ask another employee, you'll just be pegged as a bothersome customer.

    So absolutely ask multiple people if you don't think you're getting a straight answer, but just don't let them see you.


    And threatening to 'go over someone's head' to speak to a higher-up is another sure way to get poor service so I would be careful about demanding to speak to a manager just because you don't like the answer you are given (unless you have a strong reason to believe you have been wronged).

    If one of my employees calls me over because a customer demanded to "speak to [their] supervisor", then 9/10 times I'm siding with the employee unless it appears they acted disrespectfully or dishonestly in anyway.
     
  4. Bbucko

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    Thank you, LookingCurious, for that great and very thoughtful reply. My 25+ year career in retail started in small stores, then department stores, before I came to specialize in furniture. Sales clerks are the true workhorses of the retail economy.

    The only other thing I'd add is that it's occasionally/frequently contrary to the service of the broadest spectrum of customers to disappear from the sales floor for the five+ minutes it takes to go digging around a stockroom. It can also be a security risk, as there's no one attending to the area while the clerk is gone.
     
  5. D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah

    D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah Account Disabled

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    I am always impressed when a sales assistant goes to the trouble of ringing other stores to see what they have available. That is they type of shop i will go back to.
     
  6. gaybriel

    gaybriel Member

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    I had one deliver a pair of shoes in my size from another branch about half a mile away. Even though it wasn't a pair I was dying to own when I tried it on I still bought it anyway because I felt they had gone the extra mile and no, I did not do so because I felt compelled or that I felt sorry for the guy who delivered it.

    The shop I went to has "out of stock" tickets placed on the shelves when an item is not available, but not for this item. I really like shops with electronic stock or price checkers because I know it can get too busy for assistants to check for me.
     
  7. Endued

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    If they're anything like me when I had a soul-sapping till-monkey job when I was young, they are almost certainly not paid enough to care whether they get that sale. It's just more effort!
     
  8. cockhoarder

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    Merchandise planning is actually my area of expertise. I just wanted to add that electronic systems (integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) softwares) are very good tools but you must remember to keep in mind they also have a error margin. e.g. If anyone tickets a product, sales a product under a wrong tag, or customers swap tickets you end up with a completely different inventory count. So your pc might say on hand 1, but actually you have 2, or 0. Another example would be your inventory showing 0 or even -1 and you actually have 1 or 2. And I wont even get started when the item includes sizing/colour, that's when my job gets interesting!

    Just an insight for you to take in consideration.

     
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