Everyone has dealt with these professionals at least once in their lifetime. They’re the person behind the phone when a client calls a bank to complain about their credit limit; the sales assistant that asks “How can I help you?” every time a customer crosses the store doors; the Designer behind a fabulous window display that convinces the public to go into the store just to take a quick look; or the Manager called when no one else seems to know how to help. Retail and Customer Service experts can be found almost anywhere, from department stores to bookstores and supermarkets. Cashiers, Customer Service Representatives, Retail Managers, and Visual Merchandisers are the friendly face of the Retail industry and shopping would definitely never be the same without them.
A Retail and Customer Service professional, therefore, must be entirely focused on clients and the levels of services provided, as well as the economics of the industry. Jobs in Retail and Customer Service are all about providing friendly, efficient, and attentive service, always making sure the client finds what they’re looking for. Consequently, excellent communication skills, patience, and a friendly nature are essential for a person to be able to thrive in these industries.
Retail and Customer Service professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Interacting with customers to ensure satisfaction.
- Catering to the customer’s needs, maintaining the highest standards of quality and service, constantly enhancing the customer’s experience.
- Attending and resolving complaints in order to find a solution and provide a better service.
- Solving conflicts in a respectful and timely manner.
- Analyzing market research and trends to determine consumer demand.
All professionals working in the Retail and Customer Service field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Having a genuine love of people and being genuinely friendly.
- Having strong customer service skills.
- Having strong interpersonal and communication skills, including negotiation, conflict resolution, and relationship building skills.
- Being great at problem-solving.
- Being great at multitasking and prioritizing.
- Being resourceful, energetic, and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
- Being able to work independently, as well as a part of a team.
Most entry-level jobs in the Retail and Customer Service industry don’t require any education and they tend to be very repetitive, however, working hard and demonstrating a consistent performance can help the candidate progress into more senior positions in the field.
Nowadays, customers are more likely to reject bad service when a competitor can offer the same products and price without all the hassle. Retail professionals can no longer consider customer service as an option; providing a positive shopping/retail customer experience is vital. Delivering a coherent and positive service is what differentiates a successful business from an unsuccessful one.