What Do You Know About Working in Retail?


Working in retail can be very rewarding, but it can also be very difficult. Check out the following scenarios and see if you can spot the right and wrong way to do something when you're at work.

Stocking or Service?

Picture this: You're a stock associate, putting away shampoo in the hair care department and have just a few more to do when a customer approaches you and asks for help in the electronics department. You're frustrated because that's on another floor, and your co-worker should have been working in that area. Do you:

a. Tell the customer they will have to find the associate in that area and continue stocking shampoo.

b. Lead the customer to the electronics department. If you spot your co-worker, hand the customer off to them and go back to hair care. If the co-worker is nowhere to be found, help the customer, and then return (you can deal with your co-worker later).

Smile or Scowl?

Picture this: A customer approaches your customer service desk and immediately starts screaming and acting very upset. Do you:

a. Respond calmly and attempt to diffuse the situation

b. Scream and yell back - if the customer wants a fight, you want to give it to them!

Babysitter or Retail Employee?

A customer is shopping in your department when suddenly he asks you to keep an eye on his child for a moment while he visits another department.

Do you?

a.       Say yes and watch the little guy.

b.      Politely refuse - you have to be available to assist other customers and thus cannot be responsible for his child.

What are the answers?

In the stocking or service situation, you should always provide be ready to fill a customer service role. Customers may not know who is working in what station – all they know is that you work there, and should be able to help them. If your company uses walkie-talkies, you may try and contact your fellow employee using that method as well.

With the angry customer, do your best to remain calm and help the customer. If they continue to be abusive and you feel unsafe, contact security or your manager to assist you.

You should never agree to watch someone's child for them – that could cause a liability issue for your employer, plus you need to be available to other customers. If your store does not offer a daycare option, just politely refuse the customer's request, citing store policy.

How did you do on the quiz? How would you handle those situations?

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