“It Was A Good Day To Be Retail”: Cashier Beats Rude Karen At Her Own Game Through Malicious Compliance
Former retail worker and Redditor u/Lopsided_Intention57 recently described to the subreddit r/MaliciousCompliance an encounter they had in a bustling store with an obnoxious customer, Debbie, who was seeking to return and repurchase art supplies to pay lower taxes on them.
Despite the chaos of a busy day, the employee complied with her request. But not without a twist. With meticulous attention to detail, they managed to do exactly what Debbie asked for in the most time-consuming way, causing her frustration and annoyance to escalate to intolerable levels.
Image credits: flernata (not the actual photo)
Image credits: XavierPardina (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Brooke Frederick (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Lopsided_Intention57
Sadly, this story is an illustration of a broader problem
In March, Waitwhile, the customizable cloud-based solution that helps retailers perfect customer flows, announced the publication of its Employee Sentiment Report: Retail, a new study that explores the industry’s worker experience, including job satisfaction, the rise of incivility in customer-facing roles, and how employees feel about automation as it relates to customer service.
Despite news-grabbing headlines of layoffs in tech and media, retailers continue to face huge workforce challenges amid “The Great Attrition.” In a recent study, McKinsey and Company noted that the quit rate among retail and hospitality workers in the United States outpaces the national average by more than 70 percent. To better understand what’s driving these staffing issues, Waitwhile conducted an online survey of 1,000 adults working in the sector in the U.S., asking respondents to describe their experience in customer-facing roles and share their opinions about whether the technology available in their workplace enabled them to provide excellent customer service.
The research found that 68.5% of retail workers regularly deal with clients who are angry or frustrated, and one in five respondents reported having to deal with unhappy customers on a daily basis. Employees point to long wait times as the most common source of customer annoyance, and 73% of retail employees say that long lines or long waits are a problem at work.
Image credits: Polina Tankilevitch (not the actual photo)
“We’ve all seen the videos of frontline workers who’ve been harassed by angry and frustrated customers, and this bad behavior is clearly taking a toll: Waitwhile found that nearly one in two retail employees are unhappy at work,” said Christoffer Klemming, CEO and Co-Founder of Waitwhile. “The high rate of worker dissatisfaction should serve as a wake-up call for retail organizations and our research offers actionable insights for brands seeking to improve customer interactions, as well as the retail work environment overall. Technology has been clearly identified as a key solution for retailers to boost employee morale and productivity. Automation tools that reduce wait times and streamline customer flow improve customer satisfaction while producing much-needed efficiencies that drive positive business results.”
Other interesting findings include:
- 74% of frontline retail workers report being bored at work;
- 40% describe feeling anxious at work, with customer satisfaction ranked as the most common cause of stress;
- 40% indicate that they waste time dealing with dated or poorly designed technology at work;
- 54% wish that their organization invested more in maintaining, improving, or expanding the technology they have to use at work.
However, it seems that no matter how far humanity progresses, there will always be some entitled kn0w-it-all who believes the world revolves around them.