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Friendliness of people in a customer service role

66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,102 Disability Gamechanger

Do you care about the politeness and friendliness of people who are serving you? Does abrupt or rude service bother you, does polite service make you more content or do you value speed and efficiency more?

I am talking about anyone in a “service” type role, so of course shop staff, but also nurses, police officers, taxi drivers, etc.

Personally I can sympathise with someone who is doing an awful job having to deal with horrible members of the public for a low wage, and if they are grumpy I can totally understand why; but with that said, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bothered by friendliness as I much prefer to interact with someone who is friendly and polite and would be more likely to go back (if I had the choice!) if they were more affable.

What about you?


  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,205 Disability Gamechanger
    After working in retail for 30 years it can be really hard to get the right balance 

    As you say some people don't want any interaction but for others it might be the only interaction they ever get 

    We can't just presume it is elderly that are lonely 

    Rude service assistant are not acceptable 

    Personally I don't like chatting when being served in a supermarket but hairdressers and places you spend a longer period in I don't mind 
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,102 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 3
    Interesting observations thanks for sharing @janer1967

    I kind of know what you mean about the supermarket as when packing your bags as quickly as possible while they scan the food through its kind of distracting having to chat at the same time!!

    Especially if you are like me and small talk doesn't come naturally and you have to really think what to say!
  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,541 Pioneering
    I talk to any one me, at bus stop, check outs,  in the park lol. Plus people approach me, so rude not to talk back. 
    I think we all like pleasantries from customer service. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,535 Disability Gamechanger
    I spent most of my working life in and around retail, and I would always be expected to be treated as I treat others, I get it that many of the frontline staff we interact with are often doing a difficult job for poor pay and are poorly trained today. But as we have all become driven by price and not by value and service it is now a race to the bottom.
    One thing I can guarantee is that nothing is going back to what it once was, where the customer "came first" and was "always right".
    As for the police they once operated in an atmosphere of trust, and the vast majority of the population no longer trust them.
    I do believe that over the past year those who work in the caring profession have regained our trust and respect.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,712 Disability Gamechanger
    I remember not long ago having to wait for a couple of minutes literally at the till holding a pair of shoes I wanted to buy whilst two shop assistants finished a conversation they were having about a recent holiday, that’s just one example of very poor customer service. I don’t like it at all and I certainly won’t be buying from that major shoe shop again. 

    Ive dealt with the public a lot over the years and I’ve always tried to be polite and courteous even under provocation. If I could do it anyone else could too, I had a short fuse when young. 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 469 Pioneering
    I am always thinking to myself after maybe speaking to a person in the chemist for example there is an extremely rude, snappy lady behind the counter and I've been going there for over 8 months now and it's always the same? She appears to be in a hurry to get away from you and her tone is very aggressive and just rude in general? I've heard her having a pop at others too while in the queue? And speaking to elderly people like they are stupid or 2 yrs old?! Thing I don't get is why would someone take or apply for a job where one of your main roles is dealing with people if you don't like people?? It's so bad that I actually have called ahead and checked who is working one the window/till?? Because I have my own self esteem problems and unfortunately people like her get to me quite badly! Anyway I don't understand why people serving on tills or answering phones for example are rude and behave like you are getting in their way by being there? For example...I know I would not be able to handle a job where I have to care for others because I have always said I'd not be able to switch off at end of shift?? I would be too involved and emotionally vulnerable etc so I wouldn't apply for a job like that if I was ever able to work again? So I don't get why someone would try to get a customer service type role if it's not something you enjoy or are able to do! And yes I know everyone has a bad day but I'm talking about people who are negative all the time or appear to be?!  That's my thoughts on the matter anyway! No excuse for rudeness? Especially when I for example am already struggling internally I don't need anyone making it worse! 👍😊 I find speaking to people hard in general anyway so it only takes one bad experience to stop me even trying again for a while! 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 469 Pioneering
    And a particularly bad experience with a taxi driver years ago stopped me using taxis for ages and they are my main way to get anywhere! So it really can affect lives 👍
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    I come from a retail and customer service background. 

    I always enjoyed the roles, I loved the challenge of going above and beyond where I could, I liked delivering exceptional service and exceeding expectations. 

    Of course, it’s not possible all the time as some customers just want to be in and out but it’s still always nice to remain professional, friendly and approachable throughout. 

    I ended up with responsibility for coaching and mentoring colleagues when I was a team leader and that was enjoyable too as it was good to see a colleague that had received a poor mystery shopping result get an excellent one the next time. 

    I’ve had my challenges too, there are always going to be rude, aggressive, and just not nice customers. 

    The drunk demanding more alcohol, the under age thinking they can pull the wool and try and buy whatever it is they wanted when they were too young, customers at Christmas fighting over the last bottle of cherryade and the best one was when I refused to let a woman cut in a very long queue at self scan over the Christmas period she threw her frozen turkey at me, lucky I was able to duck. 

    The joys of people, customers and retail. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,448 Disability Gamechanger
    I hate conventional 'customer service'...but realise I am almost unique in that.  I just want to cut to the chase and get something sorted asap...don't ask how I am, don't ask about my day, don't offer me a 'sincere apology' (why does every every email I receive from CS start with this rubbish!?), don't comment on how 'great' a choice I've made (car sales people do this with every single customer, it's so obviously fake!), just get on with it...  Oh, and if a 'greeter' attempts to engage me in conversation when entering a shop or car forecourt I'll leave... 

    I used to work as a till person in a small supermarket...needless to say it wasn't an ideal role for me!  :D  

    Having said that, I don't expect people to be outwardly rude on either side, I just hate the fakery and BS that we have to cut through to get to the point...which in my case is generally 'No we don't do that' after many emails back and forth.  I'd much prefer someone was actually good at their job instead of being hired just for their looks and 'people skills'.
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,102 Disability Gamechanger
    woodbine said:
    As for the police ... the vast majority of the population no longer trust them.
    Not asking to be argumentative just something I'm just interested to know for my own curiosity:

    Was that comment based on a source or is it more a general observation based on people you've talked to and that kind of thing?

    PS I have family who were in the police and they wouldn't disagree with you. ;)
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,102 Disability Gamechanger
    @OverlyAnxious I agree about the "fakery". The thing that I notice is when they say something like "you made the right choice, the car below that is too slow and the one above it is not great value for money" but I'm sure if someone picked one of those other cars they'd have a positive comment lined up ready for them :D
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,646 Disability Gamechanger
    I don’t assess the merits of customer service based on friendliness, whilst I would expect politeness at minimum. One persons “friendly” is another’s “intrusive or overbearing”. I prefer to measure on outcomes. Did they understand the issue and could they solve it. It’s why I’d only use GiffGaff and O2 even if any of the others were cheaper and it’s why I use Sky not Virgin (although VIP status clearly helps with Sky. 
  • 66Mustang66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,102 Disability Gamechanger
    @mikehughescq, I tend to agree with you there! Reminds me that at the surgery one of my favourite doctors is known to be very "matter-of-fact" and so is not the most popular but I like him because he does his job efficiently and gets results.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,646 Disability Gamechanger
    Bit like me on here then :)
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,363 Disability Gamechanger
    In my job I serve alot of customers I am always friendly and chatty and have a laugh even when I have customers who are rude and abusive because they are drunk lol 
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