Why WalMart Employees Don’t Respect Their Customers

walmartToday I was at WalMart as I often am. It is not so much because I enjoy the place or particularly care for their special brand of customer disservice, but rather because they simply do have the lowest prices. I often wonder why the customer service is so terrible. I know that they pay a pittance for wages, so perhaps that is the reason. Maybe it is because they just have to work so darn hard, after all that will wear you out. As I ponder I am perplexed because Chick-fil-a doesn’t pay particularly great wages and the employees there work very hard, yet every single customer experience is amazing. Then what could it be? The florescent lighting? Standing all day on the hard tile floors? Today I realized that it all boils down to one thing,
As I made my way through the grocery section I watched as three managers approached. Certain that they would stop or slow down so that I could continue on my way, I did just that. I was amazed. Not only did they not slow down, but they all walked directly in front of me, one of them nearly running into my cart. I stopped and allowed them to pass in front of me with their large cart that one of them was pushing. I was sure that someone would say excuse me, but nothing. I was so shocked that I just stood there. I didn’t really know what to do. I decided that I would speak to the managers about it.

As I approached the managers, I realized that it wasn’t just department managers or assistants, but the General Manager , and two Co-Managers. Now I was really upset. I asked them if I could bring something to their attention. They seemed annoyed, but said I could. I explained to them that the only thing that kept me coming back to WalMart was the prices and that I was considering shopping elsewhere after something that I saw today in their store. Now I had their attention and they seemed concerned. I explained that every time I shop in their store that the employees never seemed to be happy to be there and that they were almost never helpful or courteous. They were very interested now. I told them that I discovered why the employees treated their customers that way. One of them asked, “well sir what happened today?” I explained to them that the three of them had just cut me off and almost run over me and that they didn’t even bother to say excuse me or to even acknowledge that anything had happened. I told them that I understand why the employees don’t respect their customers. It’s because the management team doesn’t respect their customers. One of them said that he was sorry and they the didn’t see me. I explained to them how that was the problem. They were so busy doing other things that they didn’t pay attention to the customer. The GM hung his head in shame and thanked me for bringing it to their attention.

The one reason that WalMart employees don’t respect their customers is that their leadership doesn’t. For those of us who work with customers, they pay our pay checks so they are the top priority. For those of us in a leadership role, we have to remember that our employees will only follow our example. If we don’t take care of the customer, then our employees won’t either.


5 responses to “Why WalMart Employees Don’t Respect Their Customers

  1. I happen to work at a small Walmart store in Canada (I’m also a college student). There are more reasons why it seems like we don’t care. Firstly, management doesn’t care about their employees for the most part, you have to earn your way up to even be listened to, and there’s definitely a favoritism issue. Secondly, every Walmart I’ve ever been to is severely understaffed. If you’re hired for one department you end up working in ten, often times alone or one of two or three people (all of whom have breaks and lunches to work around). When you have five or six different customers waiting to be served in six different departments and you’re the only one trained to help them (and sometimes not even properly trained) you tend to get a little stressed. I hate to keep people waiting and I always try my best to make sure they leave happy, but more often than not people get impatient and either chew me out or complain to management about crappy service. That’s how Walmart can afford to keep their prices so low, they hire one person to do the job of five people. Also, a lot of Walmarts policies don’t make sense to most people, but they are all there for a reason. It’s my job to abide by these policies and I don’t have the authority to change them, but almost everyone wants me to make an exception just for them, which I could most definitely get in trouble or possibly fired for. When I don’t agree to make and exception and try to explain to them that I’m just doing my job by stating these rules, they often take a fit and storm off complaining. It used to bother me a lot, to the point where I would get really upset, but now I just don’t care. It’s easier to not care and see someone leave unhappy than it is to care and see yourself fail at your job. It sounds sad, but that’s honestly how it is.

  2. Human nature – follow instead of lead

  3. I agree whole heartedly. I worked for 2 1/2 years as an overnight stocker at a non 24 hour Walmart and was treated horribly. There was 1 person per 3 departments to stock it when effectivly it should take 1 to 2 people per department a night. I finished 3 departments on my own and tried to help a fellow associate finish thier dept and I was written up for poor performance! I was finally able to go to days and cashiered. I was sooo happy to be on days I was happy to be at work.Not even 2 weeks later I was approached to be a CSM. I jumped at it and am still learning the ropes but people seem to like me due to my upbeat attitude. I was told by a cashier that it was “Refreshing” to see someone happy working there and they hope I can offer a change in the attitudes of others in the workplace. I try my best to help everyone but sometimes there truly is more people that need help than I am humanly capable of helping and it is a problem I deal with personally. I am a 6 year ARMY vet of feorign was and I help people. But this work place is worse than any warzone as far as respect for the individual goes. I try and tell the higher ups about utilizing teamwork as opposed to look out for yourself and they shrugg me off. They will not stop my vision on how things should opperate and I am determined to fix this in my store. To you sir I appologise for your experience but I believe that the problem lies with either store managers or corprate anuses. The low totem managers and associates actually try and if they don’t it is probably because they would rather lose you than thier job due to badgering managers. I believe that retail should be about customer service but this company seems more interested in powerhousing every corner of the market and making you need Walmart as opposed to wanting to go there.

  4. This is just my opinion. Not any of my coworker’s (as in I’m not speaking for them); I’m just better at using plural forms when explaining versus singular.

    Actually, the problem is that we’re always treated like crap, and the customers seem to think we’re all some low life/low class people. Maybe some of us are depressed, too, because of the lack of sleep, the lack of time to ourselves – or hey, maybe it’s because customers are really cruel people. I can’t stand being touched by strangers, let alone being hit (it’s a really personal thing; I’m a victim of abuse), yet customers still think they can grab my arm and/or hit my shoulder in a ‘tapping way’ to get my attention. Maybe it’s because from the moment we get there, customers just treat us like we’re worthless. And it doesn’t even stop once we get off work. The MOMENT I come out of those double doors I’m asked if I work there, and I’ll say ‘yes’, and they just say, ‘oh, good. You can help me then. I need _____.’ They don’t even let me go get someone else to help them, and then they get mad because I say I’m off work – as if I have nothing else better to be doing. What? Is it because I’m 21, and I love to party? Gee, I can’t stand parties.

    Or maybe it’s also because I just feel like all I am is cheap labor, and I feel like none of my feelings matter. If I try to do what other cashiers do, people get mad. If I’m myself, I’m too much of a spazz/socially awkward (I lived a sheltered childhood, and my mom neglected me). If I talk, I say the wrong thing. If I don’t talk, they pretty much all hate me anyway.

    Or maybe we’re sick. I had to work with a 104.3F fever. I’m currently struggling between getting treatment for my depression and working. If I get treatment, I lose the job. If I keep working, I don’t know how much worse it could get.

    There’s always something going on with each cashier. Some are great at hiding it. I’ve been hiding my depression since August 2011. I’ve just recently cracked and had a breakdown. And it’s not like we can tell them we’re sick/try to stay home because they make us feel guilty.

    At least that’s how it feels.

  5. This is why I boycott Wal Mart, the way they treat their employees and pay them a meager salary. Can you imagine how well the Walton’s would do if they treated their employees fairly and paid a living wage? People would hear about the good they do and shop there. I know lots of people who don’t shop there for this very reason. Sam must be rolling in his grave the way his children are running his stores. This was not his motto when he was alive. That family has more money than they will EVER spend.

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