Training New Hires – Part 1

In my previous blog, I talked about how you can help new hires be ready for the busy holiday season. Whether you are in retail or any other type of business, as your business grows, you will need to add staff. Often the positions we fill are entry level and the person we hire does not have a lot of work experience, it could even be their first job.

In every case, we have to train. We take the time to train the newbie on our computer systems and cover details right down to location of the restroom and break schedules.

Typically though, we neglect to train on the most important aspect of our business; our customers. Specifically, how to treat our customers.

Sure, you have likely used the phrase “great customer service” but those new to the work force simply DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. Those with less life experience may not have ever had “5 Star Service” and therefore, don’t know how to offer it to others.

Don’t just tell your staff to greet customers, be specific. Tell them what to say in greeting a customer. We were aggressive advertisers so in my stores, sales people greeted customers by saying “Did you come in on our big sale today?” If the answer was yes, they could ask what they saw or heard in the ad that caught their eye starting the sales process. If the answer was no, they could say “Well then today is your lucky day. We have a great promotion going on and then proceed to give a brief overview.  Decide what works best for your business and teach it to all your team members.

The same is true for answering the phone. Prepare a simple script. Type it in a large font and keep it by every phone. The very first note on this cheat sheet should be SMILE. Talk to your team about how important it is to smile when they answer the phone. This simple act warms our tone and creates a better connection with the caller. You’d be shocked at how many people tasked with answering phones – often an entry level position – have never heard this.

As you can tell by the title, there is more to this topic than the couple of tips included here.  On Monday, I’ll post the rest so you’ll still have time to get everyone ramped up and ready to tackle “Black Friday”.

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