pple who are currently in the service line..i'm so sorry that customers sometimes scream at you demanding their things.. but dun worry.. there are some things that they should not be saying
The 'flip' side: 7 things a customer shouldn't say
Home Office / Jeff Wuorio
Verbal missteps — indeed, outright attacks — certainly cut both ways in the world of small business.
Recently, I was standing behind a woman in a pet store. When a young clerk asked if she wanted her dog chews in a bag, the customer snapped like a stale Milk-Bone: "Should I carry them in my hands?" she shrieked, trilling her fingers in the clerk's face. She then somehow managed to segue to accusing the clerk of drinking and sexual promiscuity. The scene melted with the woman storming out and the clerk in tears.
Recently, I wrote an article titled "7 things never to tell your customers." These were common employee remarks and whinings that I feel customers should never have to hear. Hundreds of readers responded with their own additions to my list. (Most popular addition: "That's not my job/department.") But many others urged me to go get a job in retailing, or to walk in their shoes as the owner of a business who deals face-to-face with often-hard-to-please customers.
Thanks to your feedback, and inspired by incidents such as the one I've recounted above, I'm putting the shoe on the other foot. Here's the flip side — seven things small-business people should never have to hear from customers, and what, if anything, you can do to cope, short of felonious assault.
1. "Whaddaya mean it's not in stock?" I overheard this several days ago in a sporting goods store, when a customer brushed aside inferno-like heat to ask about a snowboard. If it's you as a customer doing the asking, stop and think — no, for the most part, means no. If you're on the other end, no matter how incredulous or rude, it's always best for you or your salespeople to calmly repeat that the item isn't available. If the customer has somehow gone deaf in the past 20 seconds, suggest that a manager or supervisor might help restore his hearing.
2. "I cannot believe how much this costs!" Heard this one in a convenience store in relation to a Snickers bar. (Amid the slime left behind by Enron and WorldCom, here's a vile instance of corporate piracy.) Granted, many items can be rather steep, but last I looked it isn't the woman with the name tag setting the going rate. If you hear such a comment, politely remind the consumer about that particular dynamic of our economy. And if, by chance, you do decide on prices, simply say you're sorry they find it's high but that's what you're charging. It's a nice way of saying take it or leave it, Diamond Jim.
2."Let me finish this call first." This has never happened to me, but it's one with which I surely sympathize — the clerk patiently waiting for a customer to end a cell-phone call before paying. Not merely rude, but, I suspect, an exercise in pure narcissism. ("Look at me, everyone! I'm talking to the video rental store while I'm buying a box of Count Chocula!") If you're talking with a salesperson, become acquainted with your phone's off switch. And if you're dealing with someone whose phone seems every bit attached as an oversized earring, politely remind them that others are waiting.
3."Could you hurry it up?" I've caught this remark more times than I care to remember. It's rude, brusque and inherently insulting. If you're pressed for time, try rephrasing it. (Such as, "It would really help me out if I could finish up here as quickly as possible.") If you happen to be the one who's accused of moving with the speed of erosion, simply remind your customer you're doing the very best you can.
4."Just what is your problem?" Variants to add on to this global accusation include references to stupidity, lack of mental and emotional development, and other derision. There's no cause for this — if nothing else, who's going to suddenly going to snap to and offer exemplary service after you've just questioned their lineage? If you've just taken one of these in the face, immediately suggest that they chat with a manager or someone else — such as their own mother. You shouldn't have to deal with it, and trying to reply in any fashion may only sour things even more.
5."I'm not leaving until I get what I want!" This is usually sputtered loudly in the hopes of attracting attention. Unfortunately, on the scale of lame ultimatums, this ranks right alongside Khrushchev's promise to bury the West. Try to remember that stores do, in fact, run out of stock — you can't simply embarrass someone into making that Martha Stewart action figure appear out of thin air. Faced with such a comment, tell a customer you're sorry they're dissatisfied (remembering, as one reader pointed out, that they are on private property and can, if need be, be removed).
A bonus bundle for No. 7. To conclude, I have a laundry list of quickie favorites as suggested by readers (some of which belie any sort of reasonable response):
6."Can you get my money out? I just had my nails done."
Said to a child: "Johnny, be quiet or this salesperson will yell at you."
"Can you look after my child while I try this on?" Of course, madam, right after I finish chewing him out.
"Here!" (followed by money or credit card being tossed onto a counter).
"Do you work here?" Often said to a uniformed employee with a name tag who's been hammering a cash register for the better part of an hour. If you're the employee, answer with due politeness and you'll likely be up for a Nobel Prize. If you're the one asking this archetype of pure density, well, you'll probably get what's coming to you. But don't forget to ask the gray-suited manager at the insurance agency if they've sold out of copies of the new Barry Manilow CD.
Thinking of owning a gym membership just to exercise..dun worry.. there are some tips to exercise on a budget.
Getting fit on a budget
Exercise these 12 cheap options!By Kimberly Flynn, from Lifetimetv.com
Sometimes it seems as if the world wants us to be unhealthy and unfit. After all, salads cost considerably more than cheeseburgers, and a gym membership can set you back more than a week in Vegas would. But, believe it or not, you can get a great body without breaking the bank. You don't need an expensive health club, tons of fancy gear or specialty foods to get in shape. We've listed 12 healthful habits that are either inexpensive or cost nothing. Adopt them and you might be able to save enough money to afford a new bikini and a tropical vacation to show off your slimmer self!
1. Enjoy the deeply discounted outdoors!
Treadmills, stationary bikes and StairMasters were, of course, all modeled on outdoor activities. You don't need a fancy machine to walk, run, ride a bike or climb stairs. The low-budget, outdoor alternatives provide an equivalent workout to their indoor cousins, says Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
2. Say yes to salad bars.
Forgo the hassle of cleaning and chopping produce and get the most bang for your money by visiting the supermarket salad bar, says Heidi Reichenberger, M.S., R.D., a Boston-based nutritionist and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Load up on prewashed, precut, nutrient-packed goodies such as lettuce, broccoli, grapes and cantaloupe. By shopping for fruits and veggies this way, you won't end up paying for unusable bits such as grapevines or the too-green outer leaves of romaine lettuce.
3. Give your VCR a workout.
Invest in a $20 low-impact aerobics tape -- it's perfect for bad-weather days. "Look for a video with the endorsement of a reputable organization such as the American Council on Exercise or the American College of Sports Medicine," advises Dr. Bryant. Lifetime's own fitness guru, Denise Austin, produces a wide variety of videos, from Pilates to cardio dance.
4. Pretend you're a kid.
To pump up your fitness routine, spring for a $5 jump rope. "Start with only a minute or two of jumping a few times a week. You'll definitely feel the effects," says CC Cunningham, M.D., a spokesperson for ACE, which is based in Evanston, Illinois.
5. Put the free back in free weights.
You don't need expensive equipment to strength-train. Lift cans of food or empty jars filled with sand, says Bryant. Even carrying the groceries is a workout.
6. Look for sporty sales.
Last year's line of athletic shoes will work just as well as the newest styles. Shop the manufacturers' outlet stores and check out the clearance section of a reputable online sports equipment store, such as Road Runner Sports.
7. Avoid exercise foods.
You don't need to bookend your workout with special sports drinks and foods, says Reichenberger. Common pantry items, such as peanut butter on crackers or a banana, are just as good as a $1.50 Powerbar. "Anything with carbohydrates and maybe a little bit of protein will give you the energy you need," says Reichenberger. After your workout, skip the Gatorade and drink water or juice.
8. Consult an expert — once.
Regular sessions with a personal trainer might be beyond your budget, but paying for a single one-on-one session can boost your fitness regimen tremendously. "A trainer can design an entire exercise program and make sure you're doing everything properly," says Dr. Cunningham. Be sure to take notes so you can refer to the pro advice later.
9. Stock up on cans.
Contrary to popular opinion, canned fruits and veggies are just as good for you as fresh produce, says Edith H. Hogan, R.D., L.D., a nutrition consultant in Washington, DC, and an ADA spokesperson. So clip coupons and watch for sales. (Added bonus: See #5.)
10. Find a community.
If you want the advantages of a gym but not the hefty price tag, visit your local community center. "Most have modest gyms, and they're relatively inexpensive," says Bryant, who also notes that centers often offer fun group fitness classes.
11. Make a deal.
If you do want to join a health club, learn how to haggle. "Most gyms run specials around January 1 to take advantage of all those New Year's resolutions," says Bryant. "But any [other] time of year, the competition is fierce, so shop around." Tell each gym the deal you were offered by another establishment; it might be willing to beat the price. Also, ask about discounts for couples or families, says Cunningham.
12. Shop seasonal.
Pick fruits and vegetables that are in season, says Hogan, since out-of-season produce can cost you an arm and a leg.