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8 Must-See Tips and Ideas for Retail Customer Service Training

Retail customer service training may be the most important differentiator for brick-and-mortar stores in today’s omnichannel world. How effectively your employees engage shoppers in your store can make them into customers for life — or send them fleeing to your competitors.

But despite customer service’s essential role in retail store operations, not every merchant has implemented a retail customer service training platform that educates staff on delivering world-class customer experience. 

It’s not enough to simply put bodies behind the point of sale terminal and hope for the best. To win in physical retailing, you have to have a plan.

If this is your first foray into creating a retail customer service training program, read on to discover a few helpful tips to get your employees on track to win your shoppers’ hearts — and wallets.

Why is Retail Customer Service Training Important?

When you receive poor customer service at a retail store, does it make you want to return or shop elsewhere? Conversely, a great customer experience fosters brand loyalty and keeps customers coming back. But how does training help?

Effective customer service training requires structure. We’ll go into detail on this later, but a training video from 1985 just isn’t going to cut it anymore. You can’t rely on basic training alone and must consider ongoing training a worthwhile investment.

Employees should hone communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills to become a well-rounded employee who gets positive reviews and helps increase your bottom line.

Additionally, gathering customer feedback and incorporating it into ongoing training and support is a good idea. It’s your duty to equip employees with the skills and knowledge to provide stellar customer service. Let’s dive in!

Tips for Retail Customer Service Training

These tips are universal, and your employees can put them into practice daily.

Greet Customers With a Smile

What should every customer see upon entering your store? 

A warm, welcoming smile. Impress the importance of greeting each shopper with a smiling face and an open, helpful attitude upon your staff. This creates a positive environment and might be just what the customer needs at that moment.

A smile sets the tone for the entire in-store interaction.

Be sure employees offer a friendly greeting as well. A simple “Hi, and welcome to [store name],” may be all that’s needed to show shoppers how much you appreciate their presence.

By greeting all who enter, your staff shows they’re available and ready to attend to whatever shoppers need.

Be Enthusiastic - It’s Contagious!

We’ve all heard it before: enthusiasm is contagious. Make enthusiasm a part of your workforce culture during retail customer service training. This likely is easier said than done, of course. 

We’re all human and have our troubles, stresses, headaches, and more waiting for us once the workday ends. But when they’re on the clock, employees should focus on the task at hand: serving the customer enthusiastically. 

Your workers’ energy and positivity will create a lasting impression on customers and encourage them to return for another great shopping trip. Enthusiasm turns a simple transaction into a memorable experience.

Be Helpful by Cross-Selling

Excellent customer service means giving shoppers more than what they came into your store for. 

When conducting retail customer service training, clarify to your staff that when engaging with a customer, they should encourage cross-selling by suggesting additional products that work well with what the shopper was initially interested in.

For example, a customer shopping for a red dress might want to see the new strappy heels complementing the garment’s sleek lines.

Or a shopper picking out gourmet pasta probably will want to know about the delicious artisanal sauces, olive oils, and spice blends that can create a delicious one-stop meal.

Related: 9 Customer Incentive Ideas to Try in Your Retail Store ASAP

Cross-selling can open up the customer to a whole new world of possibilities. Educate your staff on steering shoppers toward interesting products without being pushy.

Treat All Customers With Respect

Impress upon your staff during retail customer service training the importance of saying “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.” These basic courtesies demonstrate to customers that your workers and your business respect them and appreciate their patronage.

Remember, excellent customer service is about treating shoppers as your employees themselves would want to be treated. If the proverbial shoe was on the other foot, what kind of in-store customer service would they want to experience?

Ideas for Retail Customer Service Training

When you’re coaching employees on customer service, consider the following ideas.

Coach Staff on the Sales Process

If you ask staff to upsell and cross-sell, giving them the tools and confidence to communicate with your customers is essential.

Walk around your store and observe behavior. Is your employee’s body language welcoming? Are they looking customers in the eye and greeting them with a smile?

You can also listen to conversations. The customer is the star of the show. Is your employee leading them to a sale or being too pushy? It’s a good idea to ask employees to walk you through the sales process.

Pro tip: Use your POS system to capture personal details about a customer. Sign them up for loyalty programs and empower your sales staff to know when to offer discounts and rewards.


Make Training Enjoyable

The word ‘training’ likely makes most people roll their eyes. It’s something they have to do. But enjoyable training motivates and engages employees and helps them retain information.

Make training interactive! Incorporate games, quizzes, and roleplaying scenarios. You could offer rewards and incentives to employees who perform exceptionally in training sessions. 

Employees who perform well might be best suited to busy periods in your store. They can also help train staff who aren’t performing well in training and struggle on the shop floor.

Roleplay Customer Service Scenarios

Roleplaying effectively simulates real-life scenarios and allows employees to practice their customer service skills in a safe and controlled environment. 

You can create customer service scenarios that will likely occur in your store, such as handling a customer complaint or helping a customer find a specific product. These roleplay scenarios help employees develop their communication and problem-solving skills.

Through roleplay, employees can also gain confidence in handling difficult situations on the sales floor. Be sure to give immediate feedback, so the lessons from roleplaying are fresh in your employees’ minds.

Empower Staff With the Right Equipment

The right POS system makes a difference in how well your employees perform their jobs. For example, you don’t want employees to need to leave the shop floor to see if items are in stock. You need real-time metrics.

It is essential to provide employees with mobile devices to check inventory and provide product recommendations to customers. You can also develop customer loyalty programs using customer tracking software and purchasing data.

Empowering employees with the right equipment increases their confidence and helps them provide a better customer experience.


Retail Customer Service Training: It Starts With You

Excellent customer service starts at the top. Training is one thing, but modeling the sales process and what excellent customer service looks like is just as important. Your employees will look to you to provide guidance and experience.

Your POS system isn’t just for managing inventory and analytics reports. For example, at POS Nation, we provide a solution with all the features you need to make the customer experience seamless and enjoyable.

  • Fast transactions
  • Item and SKU lookup
  • Age validation
  • Mobile checkouts
  • Dual Pricing
  • Discounts and sale pricing
  • Multiple payment options
  • Customer tracking
  • Rewards and loyalty programs

And so much more!

But instead of telling you about our POS system, we’d love for you to see it in action. Schedule a Demo today! Alternatively, check out our Retail POS System Buyers’ Guide to know what to look for in a retail POS system.

Retail POS System Buyers Guide


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