retail jobs near me Retail employees often work directly with customers, which requires highly effective communication skills. Regularly taking stock of and honing skills like active listening, empathy and multi-tasking can improve not only your work performance but also your on-the-job satisfaction. Use tips and strategies to develop your retail skills. In retail jobs near me this article, we explain what retail work is and offer tips for working effectively in the retail sector.
Related: 15 Retail Jobs That Pay Well
What is retail work?
People who work in retail positions often help customers learn about products, select or find the items they’re looking for and address any customer questions or concerns. Retail work is most commonly associated with sales representatives on the sales floor in stores that sell things like clothing, groceries or other goods, but anyone who interacts with customers, whether or not they’re on the sales floor, for a retail company can be considered a retail worker.
Related: What Is Retail Sales?
Tips for working in retail
Retail work can be demanding, but the satisfaction and reward from helping customers directly can be gratifying. Use these tips to help you improve your retail skillset, impress your customers and increase your job satisfaction.
Related: What to Wear for a Retail Interview
Use your body language
Show customers that you care about their needs and that you’re giving them your full attention by using positive body language. Smile, keep your arms uncrossed and make eye contact when interacting with customers.
If a customer comes to you with a problem, even if you didn’t personally make the mistake, take accountability on behalf of the store. Apologize and see what you can do to rectify the situation with the customer. Avoid passing blame to coworkers or other employees.
Ask for help when you need it
There are moments in retail when the store is full of customers, the phone is ringing and the products are running low. In these moments, ask coworkers or managers for help or delegation to manage all the necessary tasks.
Know the story layout
Whether you work in a small boutique or a large box store, it’s important for you to know where all the products are located, how to find the bathroom and any other important location details. Customers will appreciate and respect your expertise. retail jobs near me
Let customers touch the product
Most customers, particularly when clothes shopping, want to pick up the items to see how they feel and look close up. Understand that part of your job is to let them do this and refold or adjust the placement of these items once they’re done looking.retail jobs near me
Respond to your customers
Some customers might want to chat while you’re on the sales floor or at the checkout station. Respond in a friendly manner to show you hear them and appreciate their conversation.
Prepare for the schedule
Most retail stores are open in the evenings and on weekends. Understand in advance of accepting a retail position that you’ll more than likely have to work during these times rather than on a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. Work with your manager ahead of time if there are specific shifts you can’t work due to other obligations.
Maintain a positive work-life balance
Enjoy your time away from your position, so you feel refreshed and positive when it’s time to work. Establish healthy practices that meet your physical, emotional and personal well-being needs so you can be your best self at work.
Particularly in the first few months of your position, show your manager or supervisor that you’re a reliable employee by arriving early to work, not calling off and taking on extra responsibilities when you can. Dependable employees are much more likely to receive praise and promotions.
As you’re working directly with customers, it’s necessary that you look professional and well-kept. Wear appropriate clothing and keep your hair and nails neat. If you work at a clothing store, your employers might expect you to wear clothing from the company. Speak with your supervisor about expectations for dressing at work before you start to avoid any dress code confusion.
Learn the store’s policies
Know the store’s policies on refunds, returns and types of payments. This way, if a customer has a question or tries to insist on an action, you can handle the situation with confidence if you know the rules.
Form positive relationships
You’ll work closely with other employees in a retail setting. Take time to build positive relationships, so you’ll enjoy your time at work and have connections you can rely on during busy times or when you need help on the job.
Respect your supervisors
Whether or not you always agree with the decisions your managers or supervisors make, it’s important to treat them with respect and do your best to follow their guidance when on the job.
Focus on customer service
One of your main responsibilities will probably be making customers feel comfortable and helping them as needed in the store. Hone your customer service skills to deliver exceptional assistance. Greet customers as they come in, check on them regularly and answer any questions they might have.
Sometimes, customers might disagree with a store policy. Remain professional and positive, even in tense situations. Your calm and appropriate demeanor might help deescalate strained situations.
If your company offers it, attend any available and appropriate training sessions. The more information and training about the position you have, the better you’ll be at performing the position’s tasks and responsibilities.
Just as there can be moments of intense busyness in a retail job, there can also be slow moments when there are very few customers in the store. During these slower times, stay busy by restocking shelves, cleaning the floor area or straightening the checkout counter. Keeping busy will help your shift move faster and show your supervisors you’re motivated and don’t need constant oversight.
Set professional goals
Establish professional goals for yourself. Find ways to improve skills related to your long-term goals in your current position. Set specific tasks or short-term activities that will assist you in meeting your aims.
Refine your sales techniques
Assess your sales abilities and see how you can improve. Begin by making note of which sales tactics work and lead to customer purchases, and which do not. Work to build a repertoire of effective sales strategies to demonstrate your sales prowess to your supervisors.
Buy comfortable shoes
Many retail positions involve a lot of standing and walking around. Purchase a pair of comfortable and supportive shoes to keep your legs and feet pain-free on the job.
Focus on the positive
Identify your favorite parts of your job and focus on those aspects in moments of high stress. The more opportunities you have to do the things you enjoy and develop the skills related to those tasks, the happier you’ll be at work and the more potential you’ll have for promotion.
Give customers space
Greet your customers when they come in and ask if they need assistance, but give them space to shop independently if that’s their request.
Work with the customer who’s there
If you find yourself in a busy moment where there’s a customer in-store who needs your help, the phone is ringing and your working on preparing a pickup order, focus your attention on the customer who’s present first. This will help you triage the situation and keep your customers happy.
Use thoughtful, polite language like, “please,” and “thank you,” when interacting with not only customers but also colleagues and supervisors. Modeling appropriate behavior will encourage your coworkers and customers to do so as well.
Understand body language
Read your customer’s body language. If they’re looking around for help, go assist them. If they avoid eye contact when entering the store, greet them, but leave them to browse independently. Knowing how a customer is feeling based on how they present themselves can help guide your verbal and physical actions.