Your staff in the retail industry: Prepare for these common complaints
If you’re a business owner in the retail sector, there’s a good chance you already understand the struggles your staff go through. They’re on the front lines of the business world, serving customers day in and day out, and have to deal with whatever is thrown at them with zero ounce of preparation. Working retail is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and you might hear about this all the time from the people on your payroll.
Which is why it’s important to make sure you prepare for the most common of complaints from your staff. You work well with customer complaints, sure, but put some things in place to accept complaints from the other side of the counter as well. It’ll work out very well for your shop/office atmosphere, and your staff will do a lot more for you - they’ll feel quite appreciated and listened to!
So, without further ado, here are a few of the most common problems you’ll hear about from your staff. Be sure to keep in touch with what they’re saying, and prepare to deal with them properly.
Customers are always touted as being right, but in the retail sector, very rarely does a motto like this actually work out in reality. Because in the retail and hospitality sectors, customers can be very, very pushy. A lot of retail staff can even be reduced to tears in having to deal with a customer like this, which can quickly turn the workplace into a very scary place to be.
So keep an eye out for pushy customers. Be on the shop floor for at least a couple of hours a day, during your busiest periods, to oversee situations like these, and deal with them swiftly when they crop up. If someone asks to ‘see the manager’, you’re already right there behind them! This helps to remove some of the pressure of working retail off of your staff, and helps to make sure you’re right there in the thick of the action with them.
And try to back up your employees as often as possible. Take their side as often as you can, to help keep a positive sense to the atmosphere you’re cultivating within your own little workplace. Of course, maintain a sense of authority at the same time, but concede as and when it is possible to do so.
A boss that listens is one that is respected, and you always want to keep a sense of that amongst the people who work for you; it ensures they go the extra mile when you ask them to, and simply makes the workplace a much more fun place to be.
Lack of work/life balance
Working retail is quite demanding. There’s a lot of physical and mental demands on anyone who works on the shop floor or behind the counter, or even solely in the store room out the back. Because there’s a lot of lifting and shifting to get done, and a lot of customers to deal with once your back has been broken in.
Which means shifts are long - they start early and end quite late, and there are always going to be issues to deal with every single hour of the day. And that ends up leading onto a poor work and life balance - it’s hard to spend enough time at home, with your family, catching up on sleep etc., when you’re working over 40 hours a week.
Even when one of your staff members is ill or injured, there’s a good chance too much is still expected of them. It often feels as though, unless they’re on death’s door, they still have to turn up for work. But this is where you could give back the most; doing your bit to be empathetic, and handing out something like a number for a company of personal and compassionate truck accident lawyers, could go far for making your employees feel a bit more appreciated.
Are you aware of the complaints in your retail store?
Always keeping an ear out for what’s going on in your store is the smartest thing to do as the boss. But when you’ve got a retail company on your tab, you might need to pay a little more attention to detail.
Most of all, make sure you listen to both sides of the equation. Make sure you act in favour of both, whenever you have the option to. It’s important!