Dealing with customers during the pandemic has proved to be very difficult. New business procedures changed the normal shopping routine for both customers and workers.
Although some adjust to the new policies cooperatively, some customers do not.
I work at a self-serve yogurt place where customers would usually come into the store and serve themselves. With new guidelines enforced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employees are required to make the orders for customers. Upon the store’s reopening customers were confused about the new procedure but after explaining they understood and were willing to cooperate.
Customers who give me a difficult time is where the problem lies. These customers are convinced that covid-19 is a government scandal and their attempt to have tyrannical power over Americans.
Being told where they can go, what they can do, and how to act during the pandemic are not conditions they’re willing to follow even if it ensures the safety of those around them.
Difficult customers complain about not being able to serve themselves. CDC guidelines require employees to wear gloves and sanitize areas frequently but difficult customers who oppose this idea cause a commotion.
One particular customer asked if he was able to sample the yogurt. I informed him that because it requires customers to take off their mask sampling was not allowed. Requiring employees and customers to keep their mask on at all times is the safest and most responsible decision during these unprecedented times.
The customer was angry and said he needed to sample the flavors to know which ones he’d like to order. He opposed the new store policies and demanded to speak to my manager. After some arguing, my manager suggested that he buy a familiar flavor to avoid purchasing an order he’d later regret and I continued to serve the customer.
This compromise wasn’t enough for him. He continued to give me a hard time and complained about the amount of yogurt I served him even though I frequently checked for his approval.
When it was time to charge him for the order he complained about the cost. Again I informed him that he approved the amount of yogurt I served in their cup and the cost was non-negotiable. He got angry again and raised hell about the new protocols being stupid.
He left the store without paying for the yogurt. Despite there being a global pandemic with no vaccine this customer said store policies should return to normal where customers were able to serve themselves.
Dealing with crazy customers during covid-19 makes it even harder to work. Changes in business policies cause hardly any change for some customers but maybe the drastic and dreaded change for others.
Everyone needs to understand that during these times restrictions are put in place for safety. Wearing a mask, social distancing, and limiting store capacities are the safest routes in battling covid-19. Not enough information is known about the virus to confidently say that these restrictions aren’t working but doing our part in protecting ourselves and those around us goes a long way.
Wear a mask. Practice social distancing. Don’t be a crazy customer during covid.