Cashier customer relations


Having a good shopping-etiquette experience

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer

For many of us, the worst part of shopping is finishing—waiting in line and parting with your hard-earned money. For the person on the other side of the counter, customer interaction can be equally as awful.

Some customers are rude, some are inept, and sometimes there’s a problem out of the control of either party. Each person wants the transaction to run smoothly, quickly, and happily. There are several etiquette tips that allow both people to “have a good day” when checking out.

Customers: Perhaps the most important tip for being a good customer is to have patience. Most cashiers work for low pay in mind-numbingly boring/annoying conditions. They often have to deal with stressed and angry people and fellow employees, as wellas the customers they serve.

Whatever is going wrong—delayed service, bad shopping experiences—please try to bear with them. The cashier wants you to be done your shopping as much as you do.

Have everything ready as you’re approaching. Especially if there’s a line behind you. It’s okay to take a minute to look in your wallet, but taking several minutes to search for all your change and coupons isn’t helping anybody. If you have any questions or comments, say them before everything’s started. Be ready and active.

Also, bringing your own bag is super appreciated. Not only is it better for the environment, but cloth bags hold much more than regular ones do. They create less work and are easier to carry. It’s even more appreciated (but not necessary) when customers help with the bagging.

Cashiers: Always count the cash, both when giving and receiving money. Math mistakes happen to you and the customer, and nobody wants to have less money than they should. Taking the extra second to ensure no bills are stuck or coins are wrong means no uncomfortable mistakes later on. And try to give as little change as possible. For example, a $20-bill for a $12.14 tab can have a nickel and dime added on so the customer will receive $8 back instead of $7.95.

Assist customers the best you can in getting their shopping done. Double-bag the heavy things because it really does make them easier to carry. Ask if they found everything okay and if they have any coupons. Do the little things that constitute real customer service—if nothing else, it makes the shift go by a little faster.

Both: The most important thing is to actually talk to each other. Having an actual conversation with a human being creates a bit more happiness. Ask how the other one is doing, and remember each of you is a person with feelings that deserves basic human respect. In the end, you both just want to get on with your days, so make each other’s a little better!