May 15, 2020 News No One Deserves A Serve

The SDA’s No One Deserves A Serve (NODAS) campaign is importantly starting to gain traction with the general public. Our members have always supported the NODAS campaign because they are tired of dealing with abusive and violent customers. Our members want to go to work, do their shift and return home safe and sound.

Our campaign started some 30 months ago and our Christmas 2019/2020 advertising blitz produced many positive results. We recently conducted two surveys to measure the results of the total campaign.

The first survey was aimed at retail and fast food workers who have experienced rude and abusive customers on most days at their workplace. Over 2500 members responded to the survey. The findings were:

Key Statistics

  • 84% of respondents have heard about the No One Deserves a Serve campaign;
  • 99% of respondents agree with the message of the NODAS campaign;
  • 85% of respondents have been verbally or physically abused by a customer while at work;
  • 74% of these incidents were reported to management but unfortunately, only 52% of these complaints were taken seriously;
  • The outcome of these reports were varied with 15% of the customers being rewarded, 23% of customers being asked to leave, 7% taking the customers side and only 3% of incidents being reported to police;
  • It was very pleasing that 48% of respondents have seen positive results in the workplace due to the NODAS campaign.

Stories from the survey:

In response to the comments section “please detail the positive results you have noticed in your workplace because of the No One Deserves a Serve campaign” we had over 700 responses.

Some encouraging stories include:

  • “If a customer starts to take a situation too far, we kindly remind them of the No-one deserves a serve motto and they rethink how they approach the situation. A lot of customers are more mindful now with how they speak to us”;
  • “Our managers are supporting us more in customer abusive situations”;
    “We feel more empowered to tell customers that the way they’re speaking to us isn’t okay. We feel like our managers and our union has our backs”;
  • “It still can happen but it seems to be not as much. We now have a sign on the door to treat our team with respect which is a good thing to let people know it’s not OK to bully staff before they walk into the store”;
  • “Even our customers seem to be sticking up for us because no one deserves to be treated with disrespect”.

Unfortunately, rude and violent customers still exist. Many respondents to the survey reported that they wished their workplace management would have taken the issue far more seriously when they spoke to management concerning an abusive customer.

Some of the stories include:

  • “Most customers that do this just complain to the point they call head office or customer care. Then they get whatever they are asking for. We do out best to follow the procedure laid out by the company only for head office to cave and give them what they want”;
  • “Asked me if it was something to do with my attitude”.

However there were some positive signs occurring due to the NODAS campaign including implementation of reporting systems and training for management:

“Customer was given the option of not to come in the store when I was on or act appropriately and behave and not to cause further trouble”;

[The manager] came over to the customer and spoke to them, explained the situation and the customer left. After that, he asked me to leave the floor and made sure I was okay. Also said I had taken the right steps and he reported the issues to the state manager”.

Finally, respondents were asked the question “What is one measure you would do to eradicate customer verbal and or physical violence in your workplace”?

  • “Have zero tolerance for any abuse and ban the multiple offenders”;
  • “Have a code word so as soon as a customer makes you feel uncomfortable you can tell the word to a co-worker or manager without escalating the situation”;
  • “Signage to state it will not be tolerated and if done, will be banned”.

The results of the survey from the workers are positive although they indicate there is more work to be done with the NODAS campaign.

The second survey was aimed at the general public who may have witnessed customer abuse or violence in retail and fast food workplaces or who had seen the No One Deserves a Serve campaign. This survey had an outstanding response with over 1800 respondents.

Key Statistics:

  • 98% of respondents believe that retail and fast food workers deserve a safe and healthy workplace;
  • 92% of respondents have seen retail and fast food workers being verbally or physically abused by customers;
  • On average, respondents were 37% more likely to reconsider how they treat retail and fast food staff after they had seen campaign advertising;
  • 98% of respondents believe retail and fast food companies should strongly support their employees against verbal and physical abuse from customers.

Stories from the survey:

In response to the Question “please provide the details of the times you have seen retail and fast food workers being abused by customers” we received over 900 responses. Some stories include:

  • “The store was very busy with people lined up literally out the door. One guy, who was second-in-line, decided he was sick of waiting and started yelling and abusing the staff about being slow. I was lined up as well and I had to say something. So I said, in a very loud voice so all could hear me, “are you kidding, mate? Can’t you see how busy they are? Give them a break,” He didn’t like being told off. I got a filthy look, but he shut up”;
  • “McDonald’s workers being spat at and screamed at for taking too long”.

This survey also shows that although the vast majority of people believe retail and fast food workers deserve a safe and healthy workplace, many people are not following through on this belief with their own behavior such as fighting over toilet paper!

Therefore, as I have stated before, the SDA is committed to a long but very important campaign because we know we have to change the mindset of abusive and violent customers. Ultimately, we will win the war because this fight is too important to lose.

The SDA continues to promote this campaign during the COVID-19 emergency and has been consulting with companies to help minimise the increased reports we have been receiving.
Keep your eye on for an updated advertisement on TV addressing the issue.