Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

I think I just experienced the laziest retail sales person ever

Mark Fletcher
July 28th, 2016 · 3 Comments

I took my £75 worth of purchases to the counter of the specialty retail store in Manchester today. The person behind the counter was sloshed on a stool. I guessed they were doing something so I waited. After a minute or so they slapped their hand flat on the counter in front of them and said over here. I walked around the counter to face them. They rang up the sale while sitting. I only got a receipt and a bag when I asked. They put the bag on top of the purchases on the counter as they were distracted by a mate who called their name. They got off the stool and walked over to the mate and hugged.

I cannot recall a worse customer service experience in retail.

As they rang up the sale I figured they were unable to freely move on their legs. But the dash to their mate proved otherwise. I also thought they may not be a talker but the chat with their mate showed otherwise.

Retail is a people business. For almost everything available in retail shops there are alternative retailers. Customer service is a key differentiator.

If this was my shop there would be no stool behind the counter. I would make it my business to know the quality of service provided and I’d performance manage this person based on the experience today.

This business is relatively small but it is part of a national chain of 20 stores.

My experience tells me the manager of this store is not a good leader, not strong enough to combat laziness, not strong enough on basic retail principles to say no to a stool at the counter.

This experience as a customer reminded me of what bad customer service feels like. It have encouraged me to review leadership and processes back home to ensure our approach is best-practice.


Category: Newsagency management

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colin // Jul 28, 2016 at 5:46 AM

    Hope the poor service wasn’t at Theatre Of Dreams. Come on you Reds.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Jul 28, 2016 at 6:56 AM

    Haha Colin, no.


  • 3 Fred // Aug 5, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    I am now a retired Newsagent but we removed the stool from behind the counter so staff could not sit down. I walked into the shop just recently and immediately fell into the boss roll as one of my old staff was sitting on a stool behind the counter. Without a thought I asked haven’t you got any thing to. Oops I,m not the boss anymore. The boss was busy putting stock out and tidying. What are they paying this girl for if she is going to sit on a stool in between customers?


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