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Techniques to Get Rid of
Customers at Quitting Time

Visit any shopping centre just before stores close and you will witness a variety of techniques employees use to let customers know it is closing time and they really want them to leave.

Here are a few examples of how businesses convince customers to go away and (inadvertently) never come back. We do not recommend that you adopt any of these techniques:

  • As closing time approaches, partially close the gate that separates the store from the mall. Only determined customers will squeeze past or crawl under.
  • A few minutes before closing, begin to vacuum or sweep the floor. If using a broom, sweep towards the mall entrance.
  • As quitting time draws near, begin to move mall displays into the store, blocking the entrance.
  • If a customer enters the store during the last few minutes, loudly announce that you are about to close and that they had better be quick about it if they plan to make any purchases.
  • Tell coworkers how much you are looking forward to getting off work so you can spend time with people you really like (and you don’t have to spend time with people you can’t stand).
  • Turn off the lights and shut down most of the cash registers (as a way of saving electricity, no doubt).
  • As the last diners finish their meals in a restaurant, begin to stack the furniture.


Nelson Scott offers several Customer Service Presentations, including Customer Service MAGIC: Changing Complainers into Loyal Customers; What Your Mother Taught You About Customer Service and other Training Resources developed by Service Quality Institute and the Vital Learning Corporation.


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A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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