The do’s and don’ts of being a customer

I have worked in customer service for a number of years. When we are the customer, consideration for the person behind the counter is important. So here are some do’s and don’ts of being a customer:


  1. …talk on your cell phone or text
  2. …act as though the person behind the counter doesn’t exist
  3. …pay with pennies or coins
  4. …leave refrigeratable items in your basket that is stowed away where the cashier won’t fine it until much later
  5. …get angry with the cashier if you don’t have cash, or your card doesn’t work
  6. …get testy with the cashier if the price rang up for the wrong amount (they don’t enter the bar codes and prices, they just ring up the groceries)
  7. …change your mind half way through to paper after they’ve bagged your things in plastic
  8. …present your coupons after they’ve hit the total button
  9. …knock things over in the aisle and not pick them up
  10. …walk away as they ring things up to look at “one last thing”


  1. …say “hello” or some other friendly greeting
  2. …smile
  3. …give them coupons up front
  4. …give them your cloth bags right away
  5. …be sure you are following the 10 items or less rule if you are in that lane
  6. …give them the items that you change your mind on, rather than leaving them on a shelf or in a cart to go bad (if refrigerated)
  7. …let them know something on their shelf is expired
  8. …tell them if a price is wrong
  9. …make chit-chat (if you are a chitty-chatty type of person)
  10. …have your payment method ready
  11. …mind your children
  12. …talk with your counter-part after you have acknowledged the cashier
  13. …ask for a receipt if one isn’t given without frustration–in many small shops, they give receipts if asked rather than as an automatic action
  14. …tell their supervisor they were especially helpful if they were
  15. …thank them for their assistance

I like to imagine that being friendly to those who provide service might make that person’s day better, and it might promote more positive interactions with future customers. It’s worth the effort no matter the outcome!


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (, 2008-2009.

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