'sales', 'service', etc. in questionnaire responses

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meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, this is similar to a recent thread of mine, but this time it's about response options in a questionnaire.

Let's say you work at a relatively large clothes store/shop and your job is to stock shelves, fold clothes shoppers have messed, answer shoppers'
questions only when asked, and sometimes run a cash register.

Now, your are taking part in a survey and see the following commonly asked question.

Q. What is your occupation?

1. Sales
2. Customer Service
3. Social Service
4. Hospitality
5. Laborer

...and the list goes on.

I only listed five options thinking listing more might break the forum rules, so for a complete list of responses please see the following image.


Source: Brewer Retail Consumer Survey

Supposing you are allowed to choose multiple responses, would you choose
"Sales" although you never voluntarily make recommendations to shoppers or try to persuade them to buy?
Would you choose
"Customer Service" because you serve them when asked questions or at the checkout?
If you were only allowed to choose up to two options and if
"Retail" were in the list, would you choose it alone or with another option?
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I would choose "sales". Talking with customers and answering questions is part of "sales". So are the other things you mention.

    The job called "customer service" means either being available by phone (to help customers with problems) or working at the "service desk" (to help customers with problems). It is a specific job, not a term for "anything that can be called serving a customer in English".

    These occupations are job titles, not English descriptions. A "homemaker" does not "make" (construct, build) homes.
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    Hello meijin,

    Hi, this is similar to a recent thread of mine, but this time it's about response options in a questionnaire.

    Let's say you work at a relatively large clothes store/shop and your job is to stock shelves, fold clothes shoppers have messed, answer shoppers'
    questions only when asked, and sometimes run a cash register.

    Supposing you are allowed to choose multiple responses, would you choose
    "Sales" although you never voluntarily make recommendations to shoppers or try to persuade them to buy?
    Would you choose
    "Customer Service" because you serve them when asked questions or at the checkout?
    If you were only allowed to choose up to two options and if
    "Retail" were in the list, would you choose it alone or with another option?
    I wouldn't choose "Sales" because it looks like selling isn't your main job anyway.
    I would choose "Customer Service" and it is the first word that came to my mind after understanding your job description, though there might be a better word like "Shop assistant"
    I would choose "Retail" alone if there is the option.

    That's my opinion.
    Hope it helps ;)
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you both very much for the replies.

    I would choose "sales". Talking with customers and answering questions is part of "sales". So are the other things you mention.
    But doesn't what you've just said contradict your post #8 in sales job That post was actually the reason I used a clothing store as an example in this thread.

    I would choose "Customer Service" and it is the first word that came to my mind after understanding your job description, though there might be a better word like "Shop assistant"
    I actually wouldn't choose that option because my understanding of "customer service" is the same as what dojibear explained. But then I wouldn't choose "sales" either because of the very reason you stated. I'd probably choose "Other".

    I would choose "Retail" alone if there is the option.
    Yes, I'd choose it alone too. I wonder if native speakers agree.
     
    Last edited:

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Does any native speaker agree that "Retail" would be the best option to choose in the example in the original post?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The fact that you sometimes ring up sales means you are a sales clerk in a retail establishment. It doesn't mean you are the type of salesperson you find at a car lot. :) People in the U.S. aren't urged by sales clerks in clothing stores to buy things. I would pick "retail". What you describe is exactly what someone in a retail clothing establishment does for a job.
     
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