I recently picked up a part time job as a cashier at a local health food store.
Having not worked face to face with customers in a long while, I figured this is a great way to not only make the extra cash I need but to refresh my interactions with customers.
I will start by saying that I have a newfound respect for cashiers. All these PLU codes, items that don’t scan, rainchecks, refunds, returns, etc. can get confusing!
Last night during my third shift ever as a cashier, I arrived to work and the lines were quite long. I was instructed by the head cashier to invite a customer to my checkstand.
“When you invite them to your checkstand,” she tells me, “Go out of your way to tell them you can take them and stay with them the entire time as you walk back to your register.”
I thought this was a very VIP, friendly approach and I knew I would have no problem incorporating this into my job.
However, she then added, “I don’t do this to just be nice. I do this to avoid fights.”
Turns out, she has witnessed events in which a customer was waved over to an open register from the end of the line. Another customer saw this and slid right over to the line instead. The customers then argued loudly regarding their spot at the register.
Even Shep Hyken, in his article, Never Take Your Eyes Off The Customer, writes about an experience at a formal restaurant in which the maître d’ walks with the customer backwards, keeping an eye on them to avoid getting lost, as they approach their dining table. Shep adds:
Never take your eye off your customers. If you do, they might get lost. You must guide them, but it is more than guiding them to a table in a restaurant. In business, you must guide them to make good decisions – one of which is doing business with you. Don’t let them get lost, or they may stray to doing business with the competition. Stay focused on doing the right thing for your customers, and they will stay focused on you.
In customer service, we want to guarantee that we’re making the customer feel valued and respected with personal attention.
We also want to make sure that we protect the customer from a possible frustrating situation like becoming lost in a busy restaurant or fighting about who is first in the checkout line.
How do you add extra special treatment to your customers to ensure that they receive the service and support they need to have a safe and happy experience with your company?