Do you need any help?

when working in a shop, almost regardless of which shop - you always have to ask customers if they are interested in some professional help when looking around.
This is both a method as to wish customers welcome and wanted, as it is to show that you are keene on helping them.
When it comes to theft, surveys show that thieves and shop-lifters tend to leave the shop immediately if they get noticed. It is like telling them that you are keeping an eye on them, as well as acknowledging their existence.

The most fascinating part of the "Do you need any help?" question, is not as much about the question in itself, but the replies. Of course I both know, understand and mean myself that I absolutely despise getting that question in my face some times. While as on occasion it is like manna from the sky, it is more often another annoying blister on mother earth's hiney.

These are the most common ones people retort automatically:

"No thanks, just looking".
"No thanks, we're just taking a peek".
"No thank you, I'll let you know".
" *you are being ignored* ".
"I'd rather not, thanks".

These are all good, we've all said them and heard them, but the best one is the one which is contradicting itself!

Tora: "Hi, would you like any help?"
Customer: "No thank you, I'm looking for a China which has these rings as a tree, you know? It looks like the rings on the inside of a chopped log, it is egg-white, and the pattern is very discreet, I am looking for three of those teacups with saucers, all of them wrapped nicely as a present for my sister!".

You see? That is certainly not a no, that is clearly a yes! Now how come people can't tell the difference?
yes yes yes yes yes, no no no non on ononononon?!


Smylexx said...

Once upon a time, I worked in the wonderful world of retail and can understand your plight.

The problem is twofold.

First of all, sometimes we really DON'T want to be pestered by over-eager sales types who will end up making you leave the store with a lifetimes supply of indulgant stationary, a chocolate teapot and a set of individually wrapped sponges when all we went in the store for was a new toothbrush.

Secondly we DON'T want to spend ages in the store hopelessly lost with no help at all.

Only this week I was shopping for shoes (for someone else, obviously) and as much as i made my presence known, pacing around in the shoe-area, picking up every shoe, carefully measuring it against other shoes and making loud "hmmmm" noises, no one came to my assistance.

No one.

I was left alone for ages until eventually i had to accost a young, rather attractive lady with firm breasts and all her hopes and dreams before her and ask her directly "excuse me, do you have these in a size 57"?

The key here is that, good shop assistants are like good waiters. You should never see them but when you want one, they should be right at your elbow waiting for your order.

That blurb was brought to you by the letters "A" and "G" and the number "7".

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