Customers That Leave A Bad Taste

, , , , | Right | March 17, 2021

I am a supervisor at a popular store. Now that the holidays are over, it has been pretty slow, so we have fewer associates in the store since there is less to do.

I am the current manager on duty and I am talking to my assistant manager about upcoming projects near the registers. The cashier takes the one customer in line and asks how her shopping experience was.

Customer: “Terrible! I don’t think there is anyone working upstairs at all!”

Cashier: *Casually* “There probably isn’t.”

The assistant manager and I exchanged bewildered looks. There is never no one working in an area, especially at night when the bulk of the work gets done. There are also several price checkers on each floor that all have a button to call for an associate. We both approach the register.

Assistant Manager: “We do have four people working upstairs right now.”

Me: “I’m so sorry that you weren’t able to find anyone. Is there anything you were looking for? I can have someone help find it now.”

Customer: “No, I found [Upstairs Associate]. She was very helpful. But I had to go and find her. You should have more people. I want your corporate phone number.”

While the assistant manager shows her where she can get the number and briefly explains the funding and floor coverage, I relay communication to our upstairs team to make sure they are not getting too absorbed in one area and to remember to walk their areas so that customers know they are there.

Customer: “I usually like shopping at [Store], but this whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. We’ll see how I feel about it tomorrow. No wonder my store in Alabama is closing.”

Assistant Manager: “There are three to five stores that are closing in order to reopen in different locations. So [Store] is keeping the same number of stores.”

We make sure that the customer doesn’t need anything else and let [Cashier] finish. I then have to leave for my lunch. 

The transaction ends up taking almost forty minutes! It’s usually five to ten minutes max for a very full cart. The customer lost her wallet upstairs, so [Upstairs Associate] brings it down and then she and the cashier start talking for a while. Luckily, there are almost no other customers in the store, and we have someone there to help the couple that come up to check out.

Later on, I am talking to the assistant manager about it. 

Assistant Manager: “…and guess what? [Customer] opened a [Store Credit Card]! I guess she didn’t have such a bad taste in her mouth that she didn’t want to stop shopping here!”

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