Field Training

One of the beauties of customer service is that we have the rare opportunity to play both sides of the field at any given point of our day.  I once had a boyfriend who was also a store manager in my company (yes one of those forbidden and torrid long distance in work affairs) who always took his new hires into surrounding stores in their mall.  At the end of the visit they would review together the customer service experience, what is positive or negative?  What worked & what didn’t?  This is fantastic to do with your entire team on any given day; it’s a great reality check when we start to lose focus.

I want to experiment with this idea and present some situatoins as I run across them and present them here for your feedback and opinion.  This is fantastic not only for retail workers but also retail shoppers, a place where we can all meet in the middle and discuss our expectations from both sides of the retail spectrum.  And as one of my favorite readers & writers bloggers, Josh Wrenn, is fantastic at reminding us, these are not thoughts only limited to those in the retail field.

I will have random polls throughout the playbacks of my experiences wanting your feedback on your opinions and perspectives on various aspects of the situation.

  • Were the people in the store right or wrong?
  • Who was the responsible party?
  • What would you do?
  • What’s the most optimal path?

If you want to explain your answers I would be delighted to read them in the comments.  I would also be delighted to see conversation amongst readers who may view it differently.  I think this will be a great fun way to gauge and interact my readers of all angles of retail.  If you had a customer service experience you would like me to put up for poll please submit it soon.

Any additional thoughts?  Think  this sounds okay or too “teacher-y” (y’all know my fear on coming of that way)?  Keep an eye out for the first one this upcoming Wednesday.

4 thoughts on “Field Training

  1. Josh Wrenn says:

    Wow, okay, first of all..thank you! That was very sweet of you to mention me as one of your favorite bloggers. (Though I don’t blog, I blog-type-thing.) Anyway, I will give you a scenario from when I was a Barista at a large coffee shop chain. I often worked the window and the bar closest to the window during the morning rush (because I was good and fast…if I do say so myself). The company wanted us to push their latest instant coffee that we were already getting feedback tasted like dirt, and I believe the product failed, but we were expected to push it like used car salespeople. Now, I didn’t mind doing this when it was slow, but during the morning rush, when people were on their way to work and the line at our window could stretch around the block despite us flying to get their orders out, I definitely did not want to push the instant garbage to our regulars who were on their way to their jobs and had already said no the day before, and the day before that. In the morning rush, I could literally name every one of the hundreds of customers that came through, and I could tell you what drink they wanted and their opinion about the instant stuff I was expected to sell. In a properly staffed shop, I would be able to chat at the window and pitch the product, but since I was also making their drinks, running for their pastries and ringing them up, anything more than a “hi” seemed to be a delay, specifically if they had already refused the sale. So, from your stand point, I ask, “Was I wrong?” To me, it was better to keep the line moving and our customers coming to us than to push an additional product they already told me they didn’t want, and delay them on their way to work. I would love to know your thoughts on that. Sorry for the book, but those questions made me want you to apply them to this.
    Also, I really look forward to your polls starting. Interesting stuff as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shopgirlanonymous says:

      Gah, I worked in a store where we made about 5,000-10,000 a day on an average item price of 7-8 dollars, meaning we had ALLOT of customers. It is far more important in that high volume and high stress of a situation to ring your customers up as quickly as possible, and not worry so much of pushing the add-ons. Of course in retail you have associates on the floor able to suggest additional complimentary items before the customers have already been waiting in a long line ready to just pay you and move on. I say you were 100% in the right in the mornings, so long as you were pushing the dirt in the slower times of the day. 😉 In high traffic times I always just have a nice small eye appealing set up next to the register of whatever I’m really supposed to be tacking on, I may talk about it while ringing it up, but not so much as a sales pitch just conversation, it’s the best I could think to do in such times.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ljaylj says:

    In a world where we are told by companies there are no skilled workers to be hired, “teachery” is just fine where it can be found. As for customer service, it is my life. I do my best to ingrain in my assistants that everyone who requires or asks for your assistance is your customer. You may be a company representative but the company you work for is also your customer, as is your work associates, in addition to other companies or people who walk through the door. Sometimes, your customer might be the person who stops and asks you for directions. They’re not all paying customers. Keeping that attitude will ensure one never forgets when it counts, on the job.

    Liked by 1 person

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