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Coaching your employees for the holiday shopping season

Coaching your employees for the holiday shopping season

The holidays will be here before you know it, and many stores hire extra help during the busy months of November and December to help customers find the gifts they need. It can be difficult to get all of your workers up to speed on the best way to help shoppers during the season of giving, but with a few quick tips, you can optimize the flow of your shop with ease.

Encourage your employees to try out products
Customers will be coming to your employees looking for recommendations, which is why product knowledge is essential. The best way to encourage your staff to get to know the items you sell is allowing them to use the products. You may even want to host an early Christmas party for employees at the store, during which time they can try out the items you sell and compare with each other.

Assign staff to stations
You can expect things to get crowded during the holiday months, with extra staff on hand and more customers coming through the door. To avoid a congested feel, assign your employees to specific areas, so that you only have one or two employees to each section of your store. Position two or three employees at the entrance of the store, so they can guide customers to the appropriate section and its accompanying staff. Once there, employees can guide them through display tables and store racks, helping your consumers find the items they desire.

Foster a few "experts"
One way to really impress shoppers is by training a few members of your staff as "experts" in certain fields. Pick a few of your best products, and have your most trusted and senior staff members spend time really getting to know the items you have for sale. This method will allow customers to feel as though they're getting special attention from someone who really knows their stuff. Of course, all of your employees should have a base knowledge of every product for sale, but encouraging expertise is never a bad idea.

Gift wrapping lessons are essential
A great way to provide an edge over other stores in your area is to offer custom gift wrapping. But a customer who walks away with a poorly wrapped gift will not be likely to come back next season. That's why it's wise to host a class for your employees, especially those who are new and may not be skilled at wrapping gifts quickly. If you find that a few employees simply can't get the hang of it, encourage them to wrap items in tissue paper and wholesale shopping bags.