“I wish you’d said something earlier”

The middle-aged hotel gift shop clerk was chatting with a co-worker when I brought my items to her. She rang them up while she continued chatting without any eye contact or acknowledgement of me.

Finally, when she announced my total she looked at me.

I said, “I bought this nail polish remover last night but didn’t use it. Can I return it?”

She uttered, “I wish you’d said something earlier.”

I was taken aback at her blaming me when she’d not given me a chance to say something previously. I said, “I would have but you were busy chatting with your colleague.”

She said exasperatedly, “Now I have to void the change to credit you toward this purchase.” She sighed.

She made it appear it was my fault that she had to do more work when she was not doing her job by greeting the customer rather than chatting with her coworker. I didn’t fall for her attempt to guilt me.

Later I learned she was the shop manager!

What a poor model of customer service to

  1. let her co-worker chatter take precedence over greeting a customer.
  2. blame the customer for her extra work resulting from her lack of professionalism.
  3. behave so immaturely in front of a customer.

How do your people treat customers when more work is required because your staff didn’t do their job professionally? Make sure you’re monitoring them regularly and/or getting secret shopper reports. You can’t afford to have your customers treated like the above.