This week’s blog post is a little different. Instead of reflecting on my week as a retail employee, I am going to reflect on my own shopping experience at the mall.
I got off work early today, so I popped into another retail store to see if I could use up my gift cards. I was greeted by the girl at the front of the store, and we got to chatting about how it is to have a whole speech to say to customers before entering the store. It was so nice to talk to someone else who understand what it’s like to be up there and have people completely ignore you when you give them the speech that you’re literally required to say.
After that, I was helped by an associate who was around my age (I will call her Anna). Anna greeted me, saying “Hi, how are you?” I said, “I’m great, and how are you doing?” She looked DELIGHTED that I had acknowledged her in this way. She told me that people so rarely ask about her, expressing how people seem to forget that you are a real person when your job is to serve customer needs. Anna was super sweet, and we bonded over working in retail during this time. I got really great service from her and she recommended several pieces that she thought I might like.
I got home that evening and was telling my dad about how great the experience was, and he said, “Obviously she was nice to you, she was trying to sell to you.” I thought a lot about this sentiment, as I am sure that many people feel the same way about friendly retail employees. I would be easy to assume that people act friendly in order to achieve some ulterior motive, but I do not want to think of it that way. I am certain that I got better service today because I properly interacted with Anna. At the end of the day, I cannot be forced into buying anything, so I see no point in avoiding an employee in fear that they will try to sell to me. Plus, I got more enjoyment out of the experience than I would have had I kept to myself when shopping.
Take it from me: Even though providing excellent service to my customers is my job, it is something that I want to do. If you let me, I can help you out and we can have a great time shopping together, just like Anna and I did.