Job Trends and Resources

Customer Service Skills when you work in Retail & Hospitality

Restaurant staff

Customer Service is one of the most important skills employees should have in any forward-facing business. In the Retail and Hospitality Industry, Cashiers, Sales Associates, Servers, Bartenders, to name a few, are roles that require Customer Service skills. If your job is forward-facing with customers or you are applying for one, here are a list of essential customer service skills that will help you succeed in this role.

Positive Attitude: Having a positive attitude is very important in a customer facing role. Your attitude and approach towards customers has an impact on how they react and respond. Be friendly and enthusiastic towards your customers and you will notice that this behavior is most often reciprocated.

Patience: There will be times you would have to deal with a difficult customer. No matter what the situation is, always stay calm, understand the problem faced by the customer and figure out how you can best fix the issue. Have empathy for what the customer is going through and show a desire to help the customer. This gives the customer assurance that you are genuinely concerned about the issue and trying to help them out.

Attentiveness: To truly understand your customer’s needs and provide excellent service, you have to be attentive to your customer. Listen to what they are saying and understand their request. It’s best to reconfirm their order or request to make sure there is no miscommunication and they get what they want.

Communication Skills: Be clear and to the point when you are communicating with a customer. Your response should not be vague as this may confuse the customer and lead to a misunderstanding.

Think on your feet: Sometimes there will be an unexpected situation you would have to deal with. Although we would never know the depth of the issue we may face, it is good to be prepare for such situations by thinking about how we would respond to it. For example, based on “what” the issue may relate to (e.g. – an order or additional charges for a service), think about “who” would be the right person to sort out this issue and “how” you would be directing the customer to the person who will be fixing the issue. This will help you handle the situation in an efficient manner.

Product Knowledge: You can only serve your customers well if you have deep knowledge about the products that you are selling. This helps you confidently answer any questions the customer may have about a product and also providing the customer with suggestions on what product may best suit them based on their needs.

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