Thursday, October 27, 2016

Is Faster Better? Whatever Happened to Customer Service?

I recently found an interesting blogger that I’m liking, Betty from A Bench With a ViewHer most recent post that I read was titled Self Check-Out and you can read that post HERE

I thought it was an interesting post and I left her a comment that said: “Recently I purchased a new car that has a little icon that comes on every time the tire pressure isn't absolutely perfect, which means that I have to find someone to check my tires because it terrifies me to put air in myself. I feel I'm going to overfill and they will blow up in my face! It prompted me to think about those days when I first started driving and I'd pull up to the gas pump and a friendly attendant would come running out and he'd clean my windshield and check my oil and my tires, I really miss the good ol' days! I don't do self check out! I already feel like the stores have made me do too much work in making me bag my own groceries, the least they can do is make an effort to have a live human taking my money! Great post!

This post made me stop to think about a recent shopping trip with my daughter April. We went to a Ross Store and I bought a few painting supplies and April bought a few clothing items. As usual at Ross you go to the cash registers and there’s a rope barrier that you wait behind that loops snakelike until you get to the front to wait your turn.

It doesn’t take very long as the line moves quickly. The reason that the line moves quickly is that Ross Employees are timed on how quickly they can get a customer taken care of.

When you get to the front and it’s your turn they still have the previous customer in front of them trying to gather their purchases and secure their wallet in their purse and they are already shouting “Next on Check-Out #4!”

I feel rude when I walk up and the previous customer is still standing there, helplessly trying to gather everything up!

When it’s my turn the cashier is polite in saying “Hi, did you find everything you need?” But you can tell that they really don’t expect a response, they don’t really care, they are already looking to the next customer!

Once they were done checking me out, they handed me my bag while I was still trying to get my ATM card situated in my purse and they ask me to please take my receipt. There is even a sign there asking me to take my receipt, they don’t even bother to hand it to me.

I once asked a Ross Cashier why they do that and she said it’s part of their process to get us in and out quickly so we don’t have to wait in line. I guess it saves them a few extra seconds of not having to make eye contact with you while they are yelling out for the next customer!

As we were leaving I mentioned to April that being rushed through like cattle to slaughter was the one thing that I really didn’t like about Ross. I fully expected her to agree but was very surprised when she said that’s her favorite reason for going to Ross, she can get in and out fast! I wonder what her generation would think about stopping to pump gas and having to wait for the attendant? Her generation is used to faster is better and they are not as concerned with etiquette and cashiers trying hard to build a rapport with you. 

Do you remember the good ol' days fondly or are you ok with self checkout and fast and unfriendly customer service?


  1. Well, I want them both, the cashier and the customer fast, and I often find myself angry at them for not being like that. A supermarket deals with hundreds of people a day, and if you don't want to waste your time standing in line - 'fast' is the key.

  2. Fast is important, no one wants to wait in lines forever when we have better things to do. I just wish some of these stores had employees that were more pleasant. I have worked in department stores and convenience stores and I always tried to be fast but friendly and courteous at the same time.

    I know things are changing but I feel horrible when I'm dismissed and no longer needed the minute they have my money in their hands.

  3. Faster is NOT better when it comes to customer service. That is the problem with the world today - we are all in too much of a hurry :)

  4. Optimistic Existentialist - I definitely agree that the world is in too much of a hurry. I've recently taken up the hobby of painting and what I am enjoying most about it is how it takes time, waiting for paint to dry, getting things just right using different strokes and brushes, it's something that can't be rushed and it slows me down and relaxes me and helps me to de-stress.


Please leave a comment.I would love to know your thoughts!