I found this to be an interesting question because when I worked in retail I always appreciated when people would say hello or thank you, but I have noticed in today's fast paced world there are moments where there doesn't seem to be time for either of them.
There is a Jewish market in my neighborhood that I shop at often, I've mentioned it on RHU and taken reject and signage pics there. When it's time to go to the checkout, I honestly never know how to approach any of them because years ago when I started shopping there, I'd say "Hello" or "Thank you" and more times than not, there would be no response. Just stares and quickly moving on to the next order. Unfortunately, this is with all the cashiers there. Owners, management, young, old, male, female, and one even appears to be a guy who plays on my team! And we are always usually friendly! (Unless we're having a bad day. I get that. But what about all the other days?)
There are some rare moments where they say hello and thank you but most days all they are capable of speaking is just the total and do you need a bag? The minute they slap the receipt on the counter they are on to the next order, there is no time to say "Thank you" to my "thank you" or "have a nice day" or even "fuck off and drop dead...."
Now to be fair, this is an old, family-owned Jewish market, and sadly, even though they are extremely busy, they are well known in the hood for having horrible service. So those cashiers are just following what the owners do. None of them appear to hate working there and they don't look unhappy.
I could choose not to shop there, but it's across the street and they have items I buy weekly and the produce is a good price. They also don't seem to be horrible or mean people, I have had positive moments with some of them, including the owner. So after years of them sometimes saying "Thank you" and "Hello" what I decided to do was follow their lead.
If I make eye contact when they start ringing my order, I will say hello no matter what. I have done the human thing and acknowledged their existence in a friendly way. If they want to ignore me, it's on them. It's their loss.
If they don't make eye contact with me and say nothing as they begin scanning, I usually say nothing. Sometimes I will force a hello though...(because it's in my retail genes) or I'll say some form of greeting when I had them my card.
When it comes to the end of the transaction, I totally follow their lead now. If they don't say "Thank you" (which is 90% of the time), I don't say thank you. They sort of trained me not to. I also feel less put off if I say thank you and they don't.
I went there today while writing this post and everything happened just as I've written about. No hello and no thank you. So I went with the flow of the process and ended up not having to say a word during it. Silent customer service.
What do you think about silent customer service, RHU? Not saying thank you and hello? Of course we all agree it's the best customer service to say those words, but have you noticed a change over the years? Do you think it's a result of technology and fast paced times or are these moments just isolated bad service?