Inspired by comments to my post on Customer Service Rules.
You walk into a retail store/restaurant/bar/grocery store, what do the sales people expect of you? Here are a few tips to get the best service when your out spending your hard earned money.
- Remember the sales people are people - Just because they work in sales doesn't make them a lesser person. Treat them with respect, they want to help you, make it easy for them.
- Educate yourself - Don't walk into Radio Shack looking for that thing that connects your DVD player to your TV. Sales people aren't mind readers, if you don't have at least a passing familiarity with what you want, expect them to sell you the wrong product.
- Don't waste their time - If you're having a bad day and need to talk to someone, get a haircut or go to a bar. Don't walk into a store and spend 15 minutes talking to the sales person without intending on to buy anything.
- No swearing, yelling, or name-calling - Even if you do these things regularly, if you can't shut it off in the presence of those you don't know, don't expect respect.
- Get off your phone - If you are really that important, maybe you should pay more.
- Listen - You expect the sales person to, so you should to. If they tell you they can't do it, don't have it, or it will be in next week, don't ask them if the item will be in tomorrow.
- Stand aside - Especially if it's busy, if you want to look a product over and can see the salesperson has other customers waiting, tell them it's okay if they take care of the other customer.
- Be clear - Sales people are generally good at deciphering things, but don't ask for the thingy from the doohickey, that's just incomprehensible.
- Be appreciative - A simple thank you can make anyone's day.
Getting great service isn't always possible, sometimes no matter how forgiving you are your experience will be horrible. Still, it's a good idea to remember you are in a business transaction, if the opportunity cost to the sales person is too high because your a pain, they aren't going to give you their full attention.