Service industry: Misunderstandings with customers

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SkinnyElephant
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21 Oct 2022, 6:42 pm

The service industry is probably one of the worst fields for those of us on the spectrum (due to our social ineptitude). However, due to the service industry's low barriers to entry, a lot of us end up in the service industry.

What are some misunderstandings you've had with customers?

Here's an example of mine: A customer was buying a small item (which most customers wouldn't want a bag for). So I said "You don't want a bag, do you?"

The customer thought I was being rude (and telling her I don't want to bag the item). Really, I was merely making an educated guess (and would have been totally willing to bag it)

I know neurotypical service employees also run into misunderstandings. However, I get the impression we're more likely to run into misunderstandings.



Caz72
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22 Oct 2022, 7:50 am

some customers might actually want a bag for a small item..i dont think it was rude to ask if they want a bag i think quite the opposite actually
i have bought a small item before but wanted a bag because i knew i was going to buy more items elsewhere and have a bag to put them in


as a bus driver i like to serve the passengers my own way like if there are a lot of passengers waiting for my bus in the bus station i tell all the pass holders to get on first

i think im the only bus driver that does that and it probably isnt what some the passengers want but its just the way i like to do it


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DeepHour
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22 Oct 2022, 8:04 pm

I get a bit irritated by being constantly asked in stores whether I want a receipt. Of course I want a receipt, and it should be the default procedure to issue one. I can only conclude that the current trend is some sort of pointless virtue-signalling sop to environmentalism.

As for buses, one thing that really annoys me is the fact that people are still allowed to buy tickets from the driver in my part of the country. The people who do this probably add at least 25% to most journey times. You can get maybe twenty people aboard a bus in half a minute with contactless payments, whereas one passenger paying with cash can take well over a minute to board, as he or she fiddles around with coins, then the driver sometimes has to issue change before finally printing the ticket.

Some people also ask the driver where the bus goes to, despite the fact that this information is often available at the bus stop or on the front of the bus. The job of the driver, in my opinion, should simply be to drive the bus and get the passengers to their destination with the minimum of delay.


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SkinnyElephant
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23 Oct 2022, 7:18 pm

DeepHour wrote:
I get a bit irritated by being constantly asked in stores whether I want a receipt. Of course I want a receipt, and it should be the default procedure to issue one. I can only conclude that the current trend is some sort of pointless virtue-signalling sop to environmentalism.

As for buses, one thing that really annoys me is the fact that people are still allowed to buy tickets from the driver in my part of the country. The people who do this probably add at least 25% to most journey times. You can get maybe twenty people aboard a bus in half a minute with contactless payments, whereas one passenger paying with cash can take well over a minute to board, as he or she fiddles around with coins, then the driver sometimes has to issue change before finally printing the ticket.

Some people also ask the driver where the bus goes to, despite the fact that this information is often available at the bus stop or on the front of the bus. The job of the driver, in my opinion, should simply be to drive the bus and get the passengers to their destination with the minimum of delay.


Since I've been on both sides of the register, I will chime in.

Quite a few customers don't want a receipt (Or they might want an emailed receipt. Especially if the purchase is business-related. That way there's no chance they'll lose the record)

As for the bus thing, where I live at least, the sign on the front of the bus is sometimes wrong.



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23 Oct 2022, 7:51 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
DeepHour wrote:
I get a bit irritated by being constantly asked in stores whether I want a receipt. Of course I want a receipt, and it should be the default procedure to issue one. I can only conclude that the current trend is some sort of pointless virtue-signalling sop to environmentalism.

As for buses, one thing that really annoys me is the fact that people are still allowed to buy tickets from the driver in my part of the country. The people who do this probably add at least 25% to most journey times. You can get maybe twenty people aboard a bus in half a minute with contactless payments, whereas one passenger paying with cash can take well over a minute to board, as he or she fiddles around with coins, then the driver sometimes has to issue change before finally printing the ticket.

Some people also ask the driver where the bus goes to, despite the fact that this information is often available at the bus stop or on the front of the bus. The job of the driver, in my opinion, should simply be to drive the bus and get the passengers to their destination with the minimum of delay.


Since I've been on both sides of the register, I will chime in.

Quite a few customers don't want a receipt (Or they might want an emailed receipt. Especially if the purchase is business-related. That way there's no chance they'll lose the record)

As for the bus thing, where I live at least, the sign on the front of the bus is sometimes wrong.


Even if the information on the bus is right it doesnt tell you anything because your destination is gonna one of hundred places NOT named on the front of the bus. So you have to ask the driver if they are going to your specific desired destination.



Caz72
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24 Oct 2022, 6:08 am

sometimes if passengers are riding a bus route for the first time they like to double check there going to the right destination for reassurance

i do admit cash holds up passengers because a lot dont get their money ready and still have their wallet tucked at the bottom of their bag and they dither about


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kraftiekortie
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24 Oct 2022, 2:54 pm

Do most people use Oyster Cards where you are?



DeepHour
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25 Oct 2022, 1:04 am

I can't speak for Caz72 obviously, but I have a feeling that Oyster Cards are very much a London thing. I had one for a couple of years, and very impressive it was as well. You only needed to wave it in the general direction of the scanner, and you were cleared for entry to the bus in under a second.

The 'contactless' cards in use where I live aren't so great in comparison. You need to hold them physically on top of the reader for several seconds, and the readers themselves can malfunction on occasion. And of course, as previously mentioned, quite a number of passengers still pay by cash.....

In London they phased out cash payments many years ago, and even though that can still cause the odd problem, it was the right move in my view.


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rse92
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25 Oct 2022, 5:06 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
DeepHour wrote:
I get a bit irritated by being constantly asked in stores whether I want a receipt. Of course I want a receipt, and it should be the default procedure to issue one. I can only conclude that the current trend is some sort of pointless virtue-signalling sop to environmentalism.

As for buses, one thing that really annoys me is the fact that people are still allowed to buy tickets from the driver in my part of the country. The people who do this probably add at least 25% to most journey times. You can get maybe twenty people aboard a bus in half a minute with contactless payments, whereas one passenger paying with cash can take well over a minute to board, as he or she fiddles around with coins, then the driver sometimes has to issue change before finally printing the ticket.

Some people also ask the driver where the bus goes to, despite the fact that this information is often available at the bus stop or on the front of the bus. The job of the driver, in my opinion, should simply be to drive the bus and get the passengers to their destination with the minimum of delay.


Since I've been on both sides of the register, I will chime in.

Quite a few customers don't want a receipt (Or they might want an emailed receipt. Especially if the purchase is business-related. That way there's no chance they'll lose the record)

As for the bus thing, where I live at least, the sign on the front of the bus is sometimes wrong.


Yes but do you presume that a customer does not want a receipt -- do you make the customer ask? I cannot believe that goes over well with most customers (anyone over 35).

It also annoys me to buy three things, have the clerk ring them up and hand them to me, and then have to ask for a bag when i see a pile of them sitting next to the register.



SkinnyElephant
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25 Oct 2022, 6:57 pm

rse92 wrote:
SkinnyElephant wrote:
DeepHour wrote:
I get a bit irritated by being constantly asked in stores whether I want a receipt. Of course I want a receipt, and it should be the default procedure to issue one. I can only conclude that the current trend is some sort of pointless virtue-signalling sop to environmentalism.

As for buses, one thing that really annoys me is the fact that people are still allowed to buy tickets from the driver in my part of the country. The people who do this probably add at least 25% to most journey times. You can get maybe twenty people aboard a bus in half a minute with contactless payments, whereas one passenger paying with cash can take well over a minute to board, as he or she fiddles around with coins, then the driver sometimes has to issue change before finally printing the ticket.

Some people also ask the driver where the bus goes to, despite the fact that this information is often available at the bus stop or on the front of the bus. The job of the driver, in my opinion, should simply be to drive the bus and get the passengers to their destination with the minimum of delay.


Since I've been on both sides of the register, I will chime in.

Quite a few customers don't want a receipt (Or they might want an emailed receipt. Especially if the purchase is business-related. That way there's no chance they'll lose the record)

As for the bus thing, where I live at least, the sign on the front of the bus is sometimes wrong.


Yes but do you presume that a customer does not want a receipt -- do you make the customer ask? I cannot believe that goes over well with most customers (anyone over 35).

It also annoys me to buy three things, have the clerk ring them up and hand them to me, and then have to ask for a bag when i see a pile of them sitting next to the register.


Our protocol was to assume you wanted a receipt (but we offered the option of e-mailed receipt or no receipt)

I have, however, noticed some businesses assuming you don't want a receipt.



Dial1194
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25 Oct 2022, 7:07 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
So I said "You don't want a bag, do you?"

The customer thought I was being rude


Most of the time people don't listen to your words, they listen to your tones of voice and look at your body language and facial expressions, and then make (incorrect) assumptions about what you said and your thoughts based on that.

Yes, it's a stupid thing to do. But that doesn't mean people will stop doing it.

Reading up on body language, controlling facial expressions deliberately, and projecting a fake emotion via tone of voice can send the message on those non-word-related channels. Not controlling those things can lead to no message being sent on those channels, which gets misinterpreted as a deliberate withholding of information due to anger or strong emotion (and thus triggers negative reactions), rather than simply not having anything to say.



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27 Oct 2022, 1:49 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
Here's an example of mine: A customer was buying a small item (which most customers wouldn't want a bag for). So I said "You don't want a bag, do you?"

The customer thought I was being rude (and telling her I don't want to bag the item).


Another way to look at is that you chose your behavior and the customer chose his/her reaction.

You might want to choose different behavior in the future and see if you get a different reaction.

You could even discuss it with other co-workers and/or your boss and ask for options on how to try different behavior next time, and even practice role playing.

I will do this with youth who have to sell things for a fund raiser. We have fun with it I play a nice customer or a grumpy customer. I try to imitate real customers I have seen with other kids. This helps the kids who have never sold before who are scared.


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