Never come to work sick—ever.
Never complain about Christmas music. It’s playing for the
customers, not you.
Never arrive late, especially with a worthless excuse, such
as “There was traffic.” Of course there was traffic; it’s
the holidays. Plan accordingly.
Never bring your personal problems into your workplace. No
one wants to work amid your high drama.
Never ask if you can go home early unless you’re willing to
come in early on any day your boss requests you to.
Never stand at the counter or in the front of the store
Never have a personal conversation with another employee
within earshot of customers.
Never gossip about co-workers or customers within earshot of
customers. Better yet, never gossip.
Never eat or drink in view of customers. That means no food
visible in the cooler, on the counter or on a shelf.
Never wear clothes or shop apparel that’s been scrunched
into your backpack. Leave the wrinkled, homeless look for
Never reek from perfume, cigarettes or body odor.
Never put any product—fresh or hard good—on the sales floor
until you know everything about it. Learn about all your
products inside and out.
Never stock displays when any customer is in the store.
Never let anyone enter the shop without giving them a warm
Never thank shoppers as they are leaving if you never spoke
to them while they were in the store.
Never ignore a customer because he or she is not a regular
Never acknowledge one customer over any other, especially
one you know who is in line behind others you do not know.
All customers are equal; even if the one at the back of the
line is your best, wait until all others have been helped.
Never tell a customer that business is “slow” or “dead” or
voice any negative thought.
Never reply to a customer inquiry with “No” unless you
immediately follow it with “But we do have …”
Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following
with “but I’ll find out.”
Never say “No problem.” It sounds condescending, like, “I’d
do the same for my dog.” “You’re welcome” is a better
Never ask if there is “anything else?” Suggest at least one
add-on item that logically coordinates with what each
Never approach a customer and ask “Have you been helped
yet?” Open your eyes and become aware of who has been helped
and who has not.
Never ask customers if they have a budget. Of course they’ll
say “cheap;” few will say “The sky’s the limit.” Instead,
make appropriate product suggestions, mentioning the prices,
and find out what the customers’ price comfort levels are by
listening to their responses.
Never call a woman “lady,” or refer to two women as “you
Never ask how customers are. You don’t really care, and they
Never go into details with customers about your personal
life. If someone asks to hear your life story, keep it
Never blame the boss, the part-timer, the vendor, the
weather or the economy for anything that goes wrong. Just
make it right.
Never ask customers “Did you find everything OK?” without
being prepared to listen to their answers and fix whatever
is not right.
Never tell customers you are out of something before they
ask for the missing product.
Never ask, “Do you still need some time?” Shopping is not
work—until questions like this are asked.
Never suggest ringing up someone until the customer says he
or she is ready. If a customer is holding several items,
ask, “Would you like me to place these on the counter so you
can free your hands?”
Never stop your exceptional service after the order is rung
up. Final impressions are lasting impressions.
Never tell a customer that you’re “not authorized” to give a
discount or act on any other request; instead, fetch the
person who is.
Never take a return without asking why the customer is
returning the item. Many times a problem can be fixed
without having to provide a refund.
Never hide information or charges from customers. If you
charge a delivery fee, service fee or special order fee,
alert customers before you ring them up. Likewise, let them
know if something can’t be returned for a full refund after
Never ask customers questions that can be answered with just
a “Yes” or “No.”
Never dismiss or patronize a customer who has a complaint;
listen, take it seriously and address it.
Never stay behind the counter. Customers shouldn’t have to
come to you; you should go to them.
Never disappear. Always remain visible to customers so they
can easily summon you when they need information or
Never abandon a customer who is having trouble making a
decision. Help out by giving him or her a choice, like, “Do
you prefer something lighter or darker?” “ … larger or
smaller?” “ … in a different color?” “ … more
traditional/contemporary?” and so on. Don’t just stand there
or walk away.
Don’t talk to customers’ backs. Either get in front of them
so they know who’s talking to them or shut up.
Never stand behind shoppers who are looking at products.
Move next to or in front of them.
Never hover long enough to make people feel they are being
watched or hurried, especially when they are trying to make
Never show frustration. Your only mission is to serve.
Although it might not be easy, be patient.
If you are in a mall, be prepared to give directions when
people ask if you know where they might find a particular
item. No one wants to hear “I don’t know.” Try.
Never allow one customer to be disruptive to other shoppers
in your store. For example, if a customer is yelling or
swearing on a cell phone, politely suggest that he or she go
Never walk past discarded wrappers, bits of paper or other
leave-behinds of customers. Always pick them up and dispose
of them to keep your shop looking neat and fresh.
Never call other stores to
see how busy they are. No time. No need. Nothing to help you
achieve your goals.
Never look at your employees as serfs. If you want them to
provide good service, treat them with respect—i.e., how you
would like them to treat others. Bring out the best in them.