The staff who operate your cash registers are on the front lines of your battle for success. More than anyone else, a well-trained cashier can make or break a customer’s experience in your store. Learn the top tips for optimal training, and you and your patrons will see positive results.
More Efficient Checkouts
When payments are processed accurately and quickly, lines move faster, customers are happier and your receipts are balanced at the end of the day. Incorporate the following ideas into your business model to bring about maximum cash register staff efficiency:
- Make sure your point-of-sale system (POS) is modern, easy to use and able to receive mobile payments from all devices. It’s easy to teach your staff about the ins and outs of such a solution, and customers can use the payment option of their choice. You may even want to change to a POS system that provides digital receipts to save on the time and trouble of loading new receipt rolls.
- If you haven’t already done so, upgrade your POS to one that accepts mobile payments. Thanks to technology called near field communication (NFC), customers can now put their mobile device near your NFC-enabled reader to initiate a secure, encrypted transaction that only takes seconds to process. Since an increasing number of customers are no longer carrying cash but almost always have their phones close at hand, upgrading to mobile payment acceptance can enable your cashiers to serve customers who would otherwise be unable to make purchases in your store.
- Train your staff on the layout of the register’s keyboard or screen. There is a steep learning curve for new cashiers, especially when it comes to becoming accustomed to where each item of merchandise is located on the screen or keyboard. With each added item, the amount of icons grows, and the task of remembering where everything is becomes harder. To combat the stress, provide your staff members with screen shots or printouts of the layout. Encourage them to take these home and study them for a day or two. Learning can happen better if stress levels are low.
- Use resources such as YouTube videos or webinars from your payment processing company. These training tools can be invaluable for everyone involved.
The busier your cash registers become, the more susceptible you are to fraud. Teach your staff best practices to minimize the chances of a hacker breaking through:
- Go over some of the warning signs that a customer is up to no good with your staff. The customer might seem uptight or nervous. They may not have a wallet or purse and may instead carry their credit card in their hand. They may be buying a very expensive item, all the while trying to rush the transaction or distract the cashier. Often, fraudsters make multiple purchases in a short period of time and prefer to do their buying during a retailer’s busiest season or time of the day.
- Instruct cashiers to also be on the lookout for messages such as “lost or stolen card” that may show up on the POS system after the card is swiped. Another red flag is if the signature on the back of the customer’s card does not match the one on the transaction receipt.
- Put a protocol in place should a cashier spot a potential criminal. Some businesses come up with code words so as not to spook the customer or other shoppers. Have a senior staff member available at all times to address these issues immediately when they arise. That person can then contact the secure merchant services company and alert them to your suspicion that the transaction is fraudulent. Specify that you have a “code 10 authorization request,” and the customer service representative will take you or your senior staff member through the process of determining whether fraud occurred.
Dealing with Angry Customers
Like it or not, unhappy patrons are a part of every business. Since you can’t avoid them no matter how hard you try, prepare your staff in advance for the inevitable with these tips:
- Develop a protocol that addresses the most frequent complaints and customer scenarios as well as the proper strategies for dealing with them. Be sure that every staff member has been trained on all aspects of this document, understands them and has the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
- During your training session, use videos or skits to show your staff the most common negative customer interactions as well as the best ways to resolve the situations. Afterwards, conduct role-playing sessions to give employees a chance to practice positive listening and problem-solving strategies in a safe, nonjudgmental environment.
- Make sure your staff understands what solutions they are authorized to offer. For example, can they issue refunds, or must they obtain a supervisor’s approval?
From the time you open your doors in the morning until the last customer leaves, your cashiers are often the only representatives of your business with whom customers interact. Although checking out should only take a minute or two, patrons will walk out with a lasting memory of the friendly, helpful and efficient cashier who guided them effortlessly through the payment process. Make sure your loyal customers receive this top-of-the-line care by preparing your cashiers in advance with thorough training. Provide this instruction during a time when the store is quiet and distractions are at a minimum. When you do, you will have staff who are less stressed and more equipped to deal with virtually any situation as well as satisfied customers who feel respected and taken seriously.