When You Don’t Know a Man, Call Him Sir…When You’re Serving Me, Don’t Call Me Sweetie
Apr 5, 2016
…or any other affectionate, endearing, demeaning names.
I’m a sucker for good customer service and I am that girl who emails, writes and contacts the boss when I get anything less. No. I’m not picky nor am I a rude customer, but when I’m spending my money, I demand to get what your boss is paying you to give: good, professional service.
I am that girl who emails, writes and contacts the boss
I’ve noticed a really annoying trend recently while out doing business, shopping or just looking around: the people (mostly females) who are hired to serve get super comfortable and start calling me pet names. From sweetie, to honey, to hun, to darling…I’ve been all of my salesladies’ pets. I don’t know if it’s harmless, and it could very well be, but I don’t like it.
Calling me sweetie transforms a real experience into a rude experience
I actually do love it when I get great, friendly service. It’s so much easier to shop and do business when I get along with the person helping me. We can laugh, we can share stories, we can chat a little, but calling me sweetie and those other pet names, transforms a real experience into a rude experience.
I know as women, we’re naturally nurturing and these things might be innate. But on the job we’re hired to be professional, to establish and uphold mutual respect with the customer. Calling me sweetie does one of two things, or both: it makes me as the customer feel insulted and disrespected. It makes me feel like you don’t value my business nor my money and that…we’re backyard friends. It also makes me lose respect for you, the company you work for and…might make you lose your job.
I once worked at a retail store where our manager was a stickler for showing the utmost respect to the customer. On that job I was taught the importance of, not good, but great customer service, giving the customer space to think and shop, that the customer is literally king and holds a level of prestige and that the customer is always right, sweetie! (pun intended)
Owner: Train your staff. The most important investment you can make in your business is hiring and training your staff to reflect how you feel about your company and the goals you want to achieve.
Worker: Respect the customer! I know these pet names might be fine with some customers, but for some it’s offensive and out of line. Why run the risk of finding out what works for whom? Be cordial, be fun, be helpful but leave the pet names at home.
Customer: Be patient, be respectful as well, but also make sure you’re respected. Many businesses love the fact that customers take the time to call, email or write to them about what they like, but especially what they don’t like. Don’t be afraid to send that email! The owner would love the chance to fix the problem as opposed to letting it fester.