At one point or another we have all “paid our dues” and worked a part time job involving customer service. Retail, fast food, waitressing, cashier- these are all jobs which involve heavy interaction with the public and (let’s face it) the stories which we relay are not ordinarily positive in nature. After having spent my fair share of time in public service, here are 5 tips anyone can use to help get through the day and keep out of trouble with the boss:
1.) Greet the customer warmly
This can become tricky, especially when I have someone who is talking on a cell phone when they come through my checkout line. I once saw a co-worker respond beautifully to this. She simply turned to the customer (who we can only assume had the phone glued to their ear) and said in an upbeat voice “I’m sorry, are you talking to me?”
The key is to deliver this as sweet and innocent as possible.
2.) Don’t let a customer get under your skin
Sometimes you feel pressured because a customer is in a hurry, so you attempt to do things as quickly as possible to accommodate them. Don’t. On my first day at a new job, a customer was impatient with me as I learned to run the register. After she left my co-worker turned to me and said “Don’t worry about it. If she was in that much of a hurry she should have gotten here sooner.” Chances are, if you try to hurry that you will make a mistake and it will end up taking longer to serve a customer. Don’t let one customer influence your mood and interaction with other customers for the rest of your shift. It’s not worth it.
3.) Thank your customers
I can’t stress this enough. They could go anywhere with their money, and even if you hate your job you still need it or you wouldn’t be working there. You want them to come back so a simple “Thank you for your business” or “Thank you have a good evening” goes a long way towards providing job security. Customers essentially provide your paycheck.
4.) When in doubt, get a manager
The nice thing about working a service job is that you will always have someone above you whose job it is to take the hit. If you have a customer that is really angry over something you did not do or have any control over, one simple phrase will leave you stress free, “I’m sorry about that, let me get my manager.” Instant relief.
5.) Be direct
I’ve found that the easiest way to navigate any customer service job is to be direct. If you don’t know where something is, say so and try to find someone who does. If you ran out of something a customer ordered, don’t spend your shift apologizing. Apologize once and move on. A customer is not going to brood on that one thing all day. Presumably they have other worries. So be direct, and move on.
Hopefully these tips help you navigate your job and leave it as stress-free as possible. Let’s face it, people can be difficult, but you can tackle any problem with these 5 easy steps. Thank you for reading my article and have a good day.