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How not to greet a customer?


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How not to greet a customer? #1 (permalink) Tue Jul 08, 2008 20:14 pm   How not to greet a customer?
 

Business Idiom in English, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #422 "Retail Sales Phrases", question 2

Which of the following phrases is not a good way to greet a customer? .........

(a) Hi, what is going on today?
(b) Good afternoon, sir. May I help you?
(c) Good morning. What do you want, madam?
(d) Good morning. What can I do for you, ma'am?

Business Idiom in English, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #422 "Retail Sales Phrases", answer 2

Which of the following phrases is not a good way to greet a customer? Good morning. What can I do for you, ma'am?

Correct answer: (d) Good morning. What can I do for you, ma'am?

Your answer was: incorrect
Which of the following phrases is not a good way to greet a customer? Good morning. What do you want, madam?
_________________________

.
Have you programmed the wrong answer here? It seems that you have.

I would not consider "Good morning. What do you want, madam?" to be an appropriate or typical way to greet a customer.
.
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How not to greet a customer? #2 (permalink) Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:43 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

The rules of greeting customers have changed dramatically. You are not to say How can I help you? Or may I assist you??? The correct way now is to start a conversation with a special question.So, nowadays "what is going on?" sounds more appropriate than "can I help you ".Though it is very informal and should be used carefully.
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How not to greet a customer? #3 (permalink) Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:48 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

Try getting a job in any store with that approach to customers!
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How not to greet a customer? #4 (permalink) Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:30 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

Hi Natasha,

Quote:
The rules of greeting customers have changed dramatically. You are not to say How can I help you? Or may I assist you??? The correct way now is to start a conversation with a special question.So, nowadays "what is going on?" sounds more appropriate than "can I help you ".Though it is very informal and should be used carefully.

Are you joking?
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How not to greet a customer? #5 (permalink) Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:06 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

Hi,

how about :"wazzup, ma´am?"
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How not to greet a customer? #6 (permalink) Mon Jun 22, 2009 17:51 pm   How not to greet a customer?
 

Even worse.

Stick to the formal greeting if you wish to continue in the job for longer than ten minutes.

Kitos. :) :)
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How not to greet a customer? #7 (permalink) Mon Jun 22, 2009 23:05 pm   How not to greet a customer?
 

Hi Guys,
Thank you for your replies. I am no way joking. Unfortunately, that's how it is now in retail. As you may have notice, I answered your test question correctly, because I knew you would consider that sentence wrong. But from my own experience I can tell you that a sale-assistant must not greet a customer with "How can I help you/May I assist you?" any more. I used to work in a shoe shop for four years, a very prestigious brand name too, so I am not making it up. I was surprised when I was told not to use those phrases at all. A person who was caught saying it three times in a row would be punished (housekeeping mainly, but if you were a "serious offender", you could lose you commission and then your job as you refused to follow the policy. I also completed a course in Business Management here in Sydney where we had a special subject called Customer Service Strategy. The new rules are no “May I help you??? “As the usual answer is" No, thanks, I am just looking”, it is pointless. So, you have to start a conversation with a neutral (WH) question that requires an open answer. At the same time, as I mentioned in my previous message, of course you have to consider the age of the customers, and certainly not everyone should be approached by How is it going? " Waz'up?" I believe comes from Bronx, so you are to work there, keep it up!!! :):) “How are you?” is timeless!!! :):)Thank you.
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How not to greet a customer? #8 (permalink) Tue Jun 23, 2009 13:17 pm   How not to greet a customer?
 

Australia eh! Say it like it is. Goodonya'sport. :) :)

Kitos.
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How not to greet a customer? #9 (permalink) Tue Jun 23, 2009 22:56 pm   How not to greet a customer?
 

I so much knew you would assume it was Australian!!! :) Well, I must admit, forgive me Austrlians, nothing much is invented here when it comes to business managment.Everything is borrowed from (guess where??:)- that's right-Mother England, like it has been for over two centuries:):)They also are quite influenced by The US of course.So, the tendency was not Australian.
Anyway, I am all in favour of the traditional language and that's why I am here. I am so happy I have discovered this website.Having lived in Australia for four years, I finally can improve my language skills rather then permanently damage them.
Thank you very much.
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How not to greet a customer? #10 (permalink) Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:05 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

" I finally can improve my language skills rather then permanently damage them."

Good morning Natasha. Where were you when your language was being so badly damaged?

If your avatar says Australia, then it is fair to make an assumption that you are Australian.
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How not to greet a customer? #11 (permalink) Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:44 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

Good afternoon,

I live in Australia, but I'm of Russian background. I am truly happy that I can communicate with the people who have the same passion for the language.Nobody in Sydney had been able to answer my questions before I found this website.So, hopefully, I can finally improve my English.:):):) Thank you once again for helping me. The site is soooo interesting that I spend hours here!!! I absolutely love it, and I have told all of friends about it. Great stuff!!!

Regards,

Natasha.
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How not to greet a customer? #12 (permalink) Sun Apr 11, 2010 21:58 pm   How not to greet a customer?
 

Foah wrote:
Hi,

how about :"wazzup, ma´am?"

What's up, bro or sis would be fun as well!

Other not less "acceptable" variants are:
1. what's new?
2. what gives?
3. how goes the world with you? how is the world using you?
4. how's life? how goes it? how is it hanging ;)

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How not to greet a customer? #13 (permalink) Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:27 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

I'm curious about the decision to continue to include "What do you want, madam?" as one of the supposedly good ways to greet a customer...

I see that the original version of this test has changed: The response "Good morning. What can I do for you, ma'am?" is no longer included as being the wrong way to greet a customer. (In fact, it's no longer there at all. It could have been included as one of the three acceptable greetings, though.)

However, I still think option D ("Good morning. What do you want, madam?") would normally not be an appropriate way to greet a customer in an average retail sales context. Since this test claims that option D is one of the three good ways to greet a customer, perhaps Torsten or Alan will be good enough to explain to me and the learners on this site what sort of shop they think such a greeting would be appropriate in.

Or is this simply a situation in which you tried to repair this test but did not manage to repair it the right way?

Anyway, your test now proclaims that "Hi, what is going on today?" is the one and only inappropriate greeting. Was that really your intention???

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How not to greet a customer? #14 (permalink) Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:36 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

I agree completely! I'd simply say 'Goodmorning, what are you looking for?'
Ofcourse, you can greet the Queen of England with ma'am! However whenever Prince Charles appears on television and I look at his ears, it makes me want to fly. I haven't tried it so far, because I think if I would jump of my roof, I would be... well, you know.
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How not to greet a customer? #15 (permalink) Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:44 am   How not to greet a customer?
 

I'd suggest one of these instead:
May I be of assistance?
How can I be of assistance?
How can I be of service?

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