The 5 most annoying #custserv greetings


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When you’re in store browsing products the sales staff should greet you, make you feel welcome and start to build rapport.

First impressions last so how the relationship begins is fundamental to your overall customer experience

  1. “Are you alright?” – The question suggests you must have a problem, that there must be something wrong or that you’re not supposed to be there. A customer might answer with “yes I’m fine thanks” which often stalls the conversation and makes the customer feel uneasy
  2. “You’re after a pair of jeans?” – usually happens when you’re holding a pair in front of you. Staff should not tell a customer what they want. A better greeting would be “I really like that cut” or “bootlegs are so hot right now”
  3. “Can I help you?” – All too often kills the conversation as the answer will likely be No.
  4. “Excuse me, I’ll just take this call” – If the customer is at the counter they must take priority. Thats why you have an answer phone and if it’s really important they will call back. Making a customer wait for you is frustrating and annoying
  5. “I really like these…” – What the sales staff like is unlikely to be the same as the customer. Staff should focus on what the customer is doing and positively reinforce that.

Building rapport with the customer whether on the phone or in store means you should focus on the person and not your products. What have they been doing, Isn’t it busy, or you’re brave getting out in this weather could be good options to start. Once you have the customer’s attention, assessed their mood and got some positive banter going you can then move to asking what they are looking for, or leave them to browse as you get busy and out of their way.

Are their any other greetings that annoy you either in a retail store or on the phone? How do you like retail staff to greet you and build rapport?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Justin Flitter
Justin shares stories, information and advice on Customer Service and Social Media for Business. Justin is based in Auckland, New Zealand and has almost 1 years experience in the Customer Service industry. Justin is the Social Media Manager for


  1. Thank you for sharing this. Yes,you are right,first impressions last. In my opinion,one of the characters that one must always possess and remember when talking to someone is being kind and polite.A simple smile and sincere greetings will do.Good manner is the key to have a good rapport.


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