Upon graduating from college, I could no longer work for the school and like many grads I could not find a job in my field. Luckily, before graduating I fell for a young, beautiful woman in college, who became my ‘sugar-mama’. One day I decided it wouldn’t be fair to her if I sat around the house and played XBOX all day, while waiting for my darling to graduate this semester.
So, I got a job! (aka she made me)
In my first ever retail position, as a Customer Service Associate (CSA), I began receiving tips and advice from many of my co-workers. Many of the higher-up employees started out in my position and shared their stories. I’ve even come to find out that I can receive a nice bonus for doing a good job. Without further ado…
Here are my 5 tips to be a successful Customer Service Associate:
1. Knowledge is Power. Truly. It is important that you understand exactly what your store sales, at least your department. One of the first days I started working as a CSA, I had no idea where anything was and I had to constantly run to others to help me locate things. It’s okay at first, but after a while you’ll want your customers to be able to trust you to know where products are located. If you continue to ask others, it makes people question your job.
2. Don’t Look Bored! No one wants to go up to McKayla Maroney and ask for gymnastic tips. It can be perceived as if you don’t want people to acknowledge you. When customers ignore you, they can’t find products or get help with products. If it is a mystery shopper then your store gets a bad grade and you can say bye-bye to your bonus (and the company loses money to competitors).
3. Never Point. You never want to point to where an item or product is located. Always escort the customer to the destination. Taking that extra step to take them to another department shows how dedicated you are to find the solution to their problems. They may not express great gratitude for your actions, but the next time they come in they will trust you to help them again. Building relationships is key to being a successful CSA.
4. Pick Up All Calls within Two Rings. As a rule of thumb, you should never let the phone ring more than twice. It shows attentiveness first off, but most importantly it tells the customer that you care. As a customer, the longer I wait for you to pick up the less likely I am going to want to call again. Your customer should always be your number one priority.
5. Listen. Listen. Listen. Always listen to the customer. You don’t want to lead the customer on a wild goose chose. If you only hear parts of the sentence you may miss a key detail like color or size of the product. If you can repeat what the customer’s problem is then you are on the right track! Also, I know listening to someone who is upset and cursing isn’t ideal. However, it will go a long way if you can remain calm and show the customer that you are listening to their problems. Remember, repeat the problem back to them to show you really care about fixing their problem.
If you work in a store where you receive mystery shoppers, following these tips can result in a big bonus for you to pay bills. But, if you’re like me then that bonus should go to an engagement ring for your ‘sugar mama’.
If you work as a CSA or Retail Associate and have tips, feel free to leave comments below.