View Full Version : closing time customer

09-05-2006, 07:20 PM
I work in a small convenience store (and i mean small - under 1000ft²).

At about 9:50pm, a lady walks in and grabs a basket, starts looking around. I thought this was fair enough, most people dont spend any more than 10 minutes in the store, and buy no more than a basket-full of stuff. Now the thing is, she looked kind of "business-like" as though she had a respectable job etc. This is rare in this shop's area. We mostly get trailer trash types. Dont get me wrong, we occasionally get one of these "respectable" types, but not at 10 minutes before close!

At 9:55 i locked the front door, this lady was still walking around, her basket was full. She brought it to the front and left it by the checkout. And grabbed another! I daren't ask her to leave, or speed it up, in case she was a mystery shopper! Our company owns 400+ stores, and pays an independant company to do myster shopper tests on us, so we never know when they will be in or who they are. I was stood by the front door, thinking of my bed, when the lady emerges at 10pm and deposits her second basket.

I instruct the cashier i was working with, to start ringing her up, since there are no other customers in the store, and wont be till the morning! At about 10:10 she is finished and has filled 3 baskets (we dont have trolleys, the store is too small). 5 minutes and about 10 carrier bags later (she paid by card), she is ready to leave. So I walk her over the road to her car, we each have 5 bags. Janet had to lock the door after us again, for her safety, and let me back in when i returned.

Now bear in mind, our advertised hours are 7am-10pm mon-sat, 8am-10pm sun. What would YOU have done in this situation? Being in potential mystery shopper territory, its a risky area. They are looking for customer service, and I think i succeeded here - She certainly left very happy, and i felt good about myself :D , but didn't apologise for keeping us past closing. But we have homes to get to, should i have asked her to speed it up, informing her that the store closed 5 / 10 minutes ago? I think the official view on this is to allow any customers still in the shop to remain there until they have finished shopping - not usually a problem, but this woman was buying a week's shopping!!!! And we had never seen her before!

Based on reports since, I have gathered this was not a mystery shopper - ours generally buy only one product then attempt to return it, claiming theres something wrong with it. But what would YOU have done? anyone had similar situations? There's a 24H ASDA/Wal-mart down the road!!!!! Why would someone come to our crummy little shop :eek:

09-05-2006, 08:08 PM
That could depend. Are there any implications to serving someone after hours according to head office? Security risk?

There was a convenience store across the road from where I used to be and they had to close at a certain time since head office would know when the alarm was set. Something to do with a manager and member of staff using the offices after hours for a touch of delecto flagrante, I believe. That was a T*sc* E*tr*.

Did anyone point out the closing hours to her? She wasn't acting suckily if she simply didn't know. I'd seriously consider - if this happens again - letting her know politely that it's past closing, but you'd be able to serve her this time.

Management will be happy with the extra in the till. However, if you're not being paid for the extra time then it's not your job. On the other hand, if she's a nice person, I'd give her a little slack - no point in not rewarding good behaviour.

If it happens again, make sure the person knows that it's approaching closing time and you're going to do her a favour that one time. That would be a good test of the person.


09-06-2006, 04:59 PM
When the customer first came in, I would've just nicely said, "Ma'am, just so you know, we close in 10 minutes."

09-07-2006, 02:24 AM
When the customer first came in, I would've just nicely said, "Ma'am, just so you know, we close in 10 minutes."

That is way nice than the look of death they get from me. I guess I should try your way !!