Understanding Female Waiters, Female Customers Conundrum
Customer service is a key aspect of any business. The idea behind customer service is, irrespective of gender, every customer is king. But why is this different when it concerns female waiters /sales persons and female customers? This pondering question is being followed by innumerable complaints and experiences, which is worth writing about.
From an angle of experience, female sales persons tend to ignore me, especially, when I am with a man. They assume he is the one paying the bills on most occasions, so, there is no need to regard my presence or grant me special treatment. One time, I went on an outing with a friend of mine to a restaurant. The fellow was my contemporary. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, the female waiters audibly said, ‘Good afternoon, sir.’ One smiled at me, and the other mumbled words I could not pick.
Quite disgusted, I ignored them. As soon as we sat, the menu was brought to him first, and then, to me, a couple of minutes later. I watched. As soon as we placed our orders, his meal was served first, mine was served a couple minutes later. I was mute. The waiter came to our table and asked my friend if he was enjoying his meal and when he responded, she turned and smiled at me. I did not utter a word. Time to pay the bill came, and I was the one pulling the ATM card from my wallet. The facial countenance of the waiter switched to disappointment. The next thing I heard was ‘thank you, ma.’ An unexpected regard – one I barely get even as a married woman out with my husband.
There are many other instances, stories of women who are not necessarily paying the bill, yet are being disregarded. I have a girl friend that went on a date with her fiancée and she watched while both male and female waiters treated him like a king and she was completely ignored. The admirable thing was her fiancée was observing this and when it came for their menu to be taken, he insisted they asked her first. Feeling embarrassed, they asked her first. Thereafter, he gave her his wallet to pay the bill and when the waiters saw she was the one with the wallet, ‘thank you, ma’ was all she heard repeatedly. I commend this friend of mine; she was generous enough to tip them.
Tradition or orientation, which is the reason for this existing customer service flaw amongst salespersons? Why do the female sales persons’ especially see it as a taboo or a hard pill to accord female customers some sense of regard for walking into their space to patronise them? Do they assume men are funding all women? Or are they intimidated by the idea of their fellow women being on a separate path from theirs? Is it envy or plain stupidity? These and more are questions to address. Customer service is not something to be taken likely in business. If a customer is not treated properly, irrespective of gender, the outcome is usually negative. Some customers could go as far as spreading the gospel of such actions thereby ruining the businesses of the employers of such people.
In exemption to a few who deliver like they ought to, there’s need to fix the perception and orientation of service persons who assume if a woman is not dressed in the most sophisticated way, or is not elderly, or with a man, should be treated less specifically, in a business space. A customer feels special when treated decently. It endears a customer to the environment and they tend to invite more customers to the business. Women especially, tend to attract customers to businesses due to their level of persuasion. What some of these sales persons are not aware of is some of these women influence the tips they get and it starts with being treated nicely. Business owners should observe their sales persons especially the females and guide them towards regarding all genders, and all people including children. Everyone deserves to be treated politely at all times.