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It’s the Hap, Happiest Season of All (maybe…)


We’ve all heard that song. And, if you’re at a party with friends or family, or sitting in front of the fireplace with apple cider and your significant other, it’s probably true. But, what if you’re working retail?

If you work retail, it can be somewhat stressful. Longer work hours (for those on the clock, that may not be a bad thing, though), more customers to handle, extra things you need to do at home, and your own shopping to do. Now, think of it from the customer’s standpoint. It all starts with the Thanksgiving madhouse. Many people are rushing around through tons of other people, trying to find and buy that special something before all the stores run out of it, some folks even camping outside the stores to be the first ones in. So this is happy? And the closer it gets to Christmas, the more stressful shopping can be for the multitude of customers you’ll be faced with. Here’s a thought for how to handle all of this - make it fun!

Will your company allow you to wear costumes on some days? Do it! Take notice of the Christmas music on the store’s speaker system (even if you’re not religious or Christian, it’s great music). As we talked about in a different article, keep a smile on your face and have a pleasant attitude. If you show the right attitude, most customers are apt to be pleasant right back at you! Some things to be prepared with:

First, know where the most popular items are. For example, everyone is going to need wrapping paper, ribbon, holiday cards, etc. Expect people to ask for them and know where to direct them.

Second, realize that some folks are going to be a little stressed. Be pleasant and offer to help. Notice when someone looks a little lost and don’t just walk past them. Ask them how you can help. They’ll feel better and appreciate it.

Third, realize that customers are your FIRST task, and your most important task. Retail is detail, and there are always tasks that we need to complete. That can be even worse during the holiday season. Because there are more customers, shelves need stocked more often, bathrooms need cleaned more often, and with the weather up north, we may need to sweep and/or mop floors more often. However, all these other tasks come AFTER the customer. The customer is always our first priority!

Fourth, always keep the end results in mind. What are those? Happy and satisfied (you, the people you work with, and your customers). Make sure you’re spreading cheer to the people you work with. Both you and they will have a better day. Make sure the customers you have the opportunity to help are getting a sincerely pleasant experience because of you. Realize that they may be even more stressed as it gets closer to the holiday, and be even more pleasant and helpful for them as the holiday approaches. Put yourself in their shoes and remember what they may be going through. Help them be happier if you can! And of course, because you may be even more busy now than usual, your day will pass quicker. Before you know it, you’ve had a busy but satisfying day that passed quickly and you’re on your way home to your loved ones.

In case you haven’t caught on, it’s all about YOU enjoying the season. If YOU enjoy the season, you’ll end up making it happier for others, too. And maybe, even if you work retail, it WILL be, “The Hap, Happiest Season of All!!!”

Retail How-To Consultant: Edward Fox

TAGS: retail, customer service,
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