What customers and clerks can do

As a customer:

* I will be considerate of a clerk's time, especially during busy periods.

* I will be as specific as possible about what I want.

* I will keep young children in tow.

* I will understand the reason for store policies. I won't expect clerks to make exceptions ''just this once,'' or because I'm a regular customer.

* I will realize that a request for identification or other information is store policy, not a personal affront.

* I will discuss problems or complaints quietly with a clerk or the manager. Although the customer may not always be right, I know most stores try hard to resolve problems.

* I will shop carefully, and return unwanted merchandise promptly in good condition. I realize that each return costs the store money; if merchandise is out of season or damaged, the store incurs a double loss.

As a clerk:

* I will know enough about what I'm selling to be able to answer questions, and carem enough to want to be of service. I know that honest enthusiasm (not to be confused with a hard-sell approach) is a powerful selling tool.

* I will refrain from calling customers ''dear'' or ''honey.'' Although a few customers may find the practice endearing, I realize most think it's condescending.

* I will avoid telling a customer that something looks ''stunning'' or ''gorgeous'' when both of us know it doesn't. I know that quiet, honest comments win a customer's confidence and loyalty.

* I will end personal telephone calls or conversations with other clerks when customers are waiting. I also understand that customers in the store take precedence over an inquirer (or a potential customer) on the phone.

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