Retail World-do's and don't's

What is going on with retail?!

We all have rules and we all have to follow them as per instructions from our higher authority. 
I haven't worked anywhere that a company doesn't have rules in place that the employees have to follow on a day to day basis.
 I think people often forget that because its "retail"  that we can do whatever you want. 
I assure you this is NOT the case. We can't just do whatever you think in your head is right, if that was the issue everyone would get everything they wanted with no extra cost. We would be doomed and things would fall apart. We all need rules and regulations to keep us in line to build a better future. 

Retail is one of the hardest jobs....hahaha laugh all you want and say its not till your head turns blue, but I bet you anyone who has never worked retail would crumble and fail fast if they couldn't keep up with all the demands. 
With my experience I know that their is no down time in the retail world. You are constantly changing merchandise around, preparing marketing and price points. You are always coaching with your employees, never leaving one out and never leaving one alone for a long period of time, and if you do they fall out of routine and back into laziness. 
You have goals and budgets to maintain on a daily/hourly/monthly and yearly basis.You can't  have a ton of people working if you don't make any money, how will they get paid? but you also can't predict the future in knowing that if you have two people that day and its been slow in knowing that later you might need an extra body. Sometimes this happens and it is what you get called "short staffed"
The public get very impatient when this happens and you start to feel the pressure,because now your sense of urgency should be at its peak and you should be trying to get to everyone in the shortest amount of time. 
Some employees and juggle this and some can't seem to grasp it and that's ok that is what managers are for. 

Customers on the other hand are thinking we are not doing a good enough job "catering" to the needs they have. It is almost like they treat retail employees as servants. Sounds harsh to say that but its true.
Customers while the stores are busy will stand at a spot and demand for you to get something for them even if it is right in front with reach. They sometimes keep you with them as if you are a personal shopper. 
Sometimes they even walk around the store trashing it as if nobody has to clean it up later. 
We don't want to stay at work any longer than you do at your oh so high and mighty bank job (which I have had the experience to work in and in my opinion is boring and has less to do unless you are upper management)
I am not liking this whole "god complex" when people walk in thinking they can make up rules because it fits the needs they have. 
Being in retail you need to have five things

  1. Patience
  2. Energy 
  3. Passion
  4. Sense of urgency 
  5. Time
Patience for all the chaos that is going on around you, you have to stop and listen and you have to understand what the customer wants.
Energy for all the running around you have to do while trying to maintain a clean and shop-able store.
Passion for the company you work for, if you don't then you will miss things and mistakes will happen more frequently, customers will get forgotten and things will look messy.
Sense of urgency for when its time to put the gas on as you see the people piling in
Time, this is a good one...sometimes you have to stay late or come in early to get everything done. In retail the statement of "never enough time to get everything done" is true. Most of the time you do not have enough time to get everything done, so in saying that you have to think about whats the most important and how to deal with everything else in a timely matter. 

I have worked retail for over eleven years so I see it all the time where customers want to return something thinking, ITS MY RIGHT SO DO IT OR ELSE! or lose all respect for the store and just walk around like its your playground.
Don't get me wrong I think a lot of store need to work on customer service and I am sure people are getting annoyed they are not doing their jobs right either but look at the big picture CUSTOMERS
I am not blaming everyone but I am going to blame 70% of them.
You wonder why you are getting lack of service when you walk into the store, it could be because of a few reasons. 

  • You ignore the person who says hi when you walk in, or walk away when they are trying to tell you about promotions or maybe they are generally interested in you, as they are working with the public.
  • You are rude until you WANT something, this give the employee the impression we are slaves, come in treat us like shit and then when you want something expect superior customer service with no complaints. If someone came into your workplace and starting trashing everything or speaking to you in tones you find threatening would you give them the best customer experience? no you would want them to get out and never come back.
  • when you make a return you just slam the bag on the counter without a word and expect us to know what you want? open your mouth because you had no shame doing in when you bought the merchandise.
  • you get mad at the workers if something isn't in stock or they won't be receiving something telling them that its bad business and that we should tell our head office what to change.....NEW FLASH head office's are not going to take one little customer complaint or idea and go with it. For example how many times do you see of your facebooks news feed "I wish they had a dislike button or why do they keep changing the site, I want it to stay the same" Mark Zuckerberg still hasn't made those changes. It is whatever the company can cater to. you can't just expect you get what you want because its clothing. Another example. If you walked into a car dealership and they have a car that only comes in black but you want blue and they can't make it you are not going to demand they make you a new entire car just for you. That not how business works.
  • You are just  rude disrespectful and kinda being a bully.
Staff sees this trend everyday and the more and more that cusumers act this way the more bad customer service you will get because sooner than later we are going to start to think , What is the point of saying hello if they are just going to ignore me?Why suggest anything else if you are just going to complain? Why ask them about their day if they just think I'm nosy?
Not everyone is like this but we can all make a difference in changing and to get our customer service back on track.

Lets talk about returning merchandise. 

I have no problem returning something or exchanging if you are nice about it. I get it sometimes I buy things I change my mind about later or sometimes I get things that don't fit right and want a different size. 
It is all about how you approach the person. 
If you come up to the counter and off the bat are rude and loud and demand your money, chances are I am going to make it a lot harder for you to do so, if you make my life difficult I will make yours as well...whats the difference? because I work their and so if you want it done it should be? what if I cam into your work and started demanding things, you would be the same way, that's how we work.
So just be nice and you will get what you want in the end. Also don't keep repeating, im in a rush im in a rush because that doesn't make the transaction any faster and its flusters the hell out of the person doing it for you so chances are they will take longer to wrap their head around the situation so in the end it will take longer. Besides if you are in a rush why are you doing it now?

Here are some tips to remember while returning to make the process quick and easy and to leave satisfied.

  • Ask about the return policy before you buy, if you are unsure- If it makes you feel more comfortable ask for the employees name who told you the policy. Customers often lie to get what they want to just saying"I don't know some girl/guy told me" isn't going to change it. Chances are they are going to go with what the company wants. If you have proof of the situation then they will obey that and should do what the other employee said would happen.
  • Be pleasant-retail employees, like I stated above, are use to confrontational customers and that energy gets passed. Treat them like you would a friend or co-worker, lighten up your mood.
  • Build a relationship-Get to know the employees and the management, if you are a regular shopper we can work with you so you will return again.
  • Look good-coming in with ratty hair and ripped clothing doesn't get your respect anywhere else.If you look your best employees are generally more receptive and will work with you to get the issue resolved.
  • Compromise- not all stores have the same policy so if they can't give you your money back ask for a store credit or if their was a manufacturing defect ask for a new piece of clothing or a partial return.
Sometimes the employees really can't do anything more for you and they are not going to risk their job because you feel you deserve it. Although that may be the case sometimes, you may deserve what you are asking for but please don't get mad at the employees(within reason of course, I am aware some are rude back just for the sake of it)sometimes it is not their fault they can't give you want you want, it just comes down to doing it and being fired or written up or applying the rules and keeping a steady income in hopes that the next person is more understandable. 

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