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Eight Steps to be a Better Customer

Updated on September 11, 2017

Retail companies are closing stores. Many blame the rise of online shopping and the lack of customer service in brick and mortar stores. Stores need to better train and manage employees in waiting on shoppers, but it’s a two-way street. Customers are a part of the experience that can make it more bearable for everyone involved.

Most consumers should take care of their own business, but they must remember stores are public spaces shared by many. Customer service issues arise not just from sub par store employees but from what customers do to each other.

The question will always be if the average customer realizes or not care what they do in a store? Is is true that the store has to better handle the business, but actions that customers themselves do affect everyone . Here are eight behaviors of many shoppers that hinder service.


  1. When entering a store, keep moving. Most stores are one way in and one way out that is not the best place to stop and talk to friends and family. It understandable that customers want to check their receipts, but in a better location than in the doorway.
  2. Retailers have an obligation to keep aisles open but frustrating when one customer will block the whole path. Stores can do a better job of space, but common courtesy towards a fellow shopper is often forgotten.

  3. Children are part of the responsibility of the parents or guardians. Unruly children affect other shoppers. Leaving the kids unattended is not only unsafe but disrupts the atmosphere for more than just the store employees.

  4. By this time, customers should not act offended when asked for a receipt. A normal part of business and arguing it with other customers in line is unnecessary. Most customers keep receipts so it’s reasonable to expect and speed up moving shoppers through the lines.

  5. If customers have a special problem, talk to an employee or manager off to the side. This is unfair to do so in a line. Most people are in a hurry to get processed and stores are put in negative light by discussing individual cases in front of the crowd.

  6. As for the register lines, the operators are told to be friendly and chat but customers who want to tell their whole life story while others are waiting is unfair. The associates are stuck because they don’t want to appear rude and cut the customer short so it’s up to the customer to know the surroundings and be considerate.

  7. As for accidents, items fall, break or spill and the store has to clean it. It might be awkward, but telling helps to keep the store safe. Pieces of glass under a counter or hiding a spill can affect other customers, it’s not only the store employees in harm’s way.

  8. A few customers do disgusting actions in the restroom as revenge against the store. Besides just wrong, other customers who have to use the facilities? Accidents happen, but many bathroom incidents are on purpose and inexcusable.

    Stores have a long way to go to improve customer service and it will be argued that many of the above examples are the part of the business. Customers will say this list is just retailers complaining. Maybe so, but remember the Golden Rule?

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