All Women's Talk

9 Types of Customers You'll Come across in Retail ...

By Holly

There are many types of customers you’ll see when working on the sales floor or cash register. When you work in a store, interacting with others is a big part of the job. Some people will be friendly while others will test your patience. The different types of customers you deal with will affect your mood in varying ways, so be on the lookout for them.

1 Tired Parent

The types of customers I see most often are parents of hyper children. They might be rude to you or ignore your sales pitch to snap at their kids, but don’t judge them for it. They’re just having a rough day. If they’re mean to you, don’t take it personally. Chances are the anger is misplaced. Try to understand that raising kids can take a lot out of you and they don’t mean to be mean.

2 Technology Lover

While you’re ringing them up, these people will completely ignore you to focus on their phones. Whether they’re texting or having a full-on conversation out loud, it’s doubtful they’ll pay much attention to you. They just want you to do your job so they can get on with their lives. Don’t try to small talk with them. Their minds are elsewhere.

3 Complainer

These people think you can change the prices of products or the way the store is run. As hard as it is, just listen to what they have to say and empathize if you can. If they’re really insistent on change or refuse to cooperate, get a manager. But never yell back at them, as tempting as it is. No need to get fired over one loudmouth’s complaint.

4 The Incomprehensible Ones

You’re bound to come across people who you have trouble understanding. They’ll either have a strong accent, mumble, or talk too softly. You might have to ask them to repeat themselves several times before you comprehend what they’re telling you and they may get annoyed in the process. But in order to do your job correctly, you’ll have to deal with them until you come to an understanding. So keep those ears open and questions coming.

5 Mood Brightener

You could be having the worst day ever or just feel a little blah, but the mood brightener makes everything better — if only for a few minutes. He might compliment you or simply show a genuine smile, but your stress will be relieved due to this one stranger. He’s a reminder to keep in mind the effect you have on others! The next time you take a trip to the store, try to be someone’s mood brightener. They’ll be thankful for it.

6 The Indecisive Ones

If you’re on the register, they’ll change their mind about what they want after you ring them up. They’ll ask the prices of different items and decide that they want to exchange what’s in their cart. If you’re on the sales floor, they’ll ask questions over and over again. Try not to get confused by them. Just help them as much as you can.

7 Old Yeller

Don’t lose your temper because someone else does. If a customer yells at you, the worst that can happen is that they get thrown out of the store and go to another. But if you yell, you could lose a job. Your paycheck is more important than releasing your anger. Deal with the person calmly and when all else fails, call a manager.

8 Hottie

Who says work can’t be fun? Enjoy a little eye candy when you see a cutie across the store. If you get to help him, even better! Treat him well so he’ll be a returning customer. It’ll give you incentive to go to work every day.

9 Creep

Men are going to hit on you. Sometimes you’ll return the feelings, but at other times you’ll want to disappear. Guys much older than you may call you beautiful or bluntly ask you out. Just accept the compliment, but politely decline. Of course, if you’re worried for your safety, call that manager back over.

I’m sure those of you with jobs in retail are familiar with the types of people I described. Do any of you have jobs in retail? What’s the strangest interaction you’ve had with a customer?

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