Successfully training new cashiers starts with choosing the right employees, and then providing the right resources to help them learn. Before a new cashier can start helping the customers in your retail business, you'll need to engage her in a training session that covers how to operate cash registers and debit card machines, issue refunds, and provide great customer service. Getting this process right will involve some preparation on your part.
Find Good Cashiers
Cashier jobs are typically entry-level positions that may only require a high school diploma or equivalent -- but cashiers will need other qualifications to help them be successful. Look for cashiers who are friendly and outgoing and have good listening skills. Cashiers should also have good manual dexterity to operate the many buttons of a cash register. In addition, they're often required to stand for long periods of time, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Math skills can also be important for your cashiers, so you might even screen workers with a basic math skills test before hiring them.
Create a Manual
Before you start training cashiers, develop a manual that includes step-by-step instructions for every task a cashier may need to carry out, such as ringing up a sale, issuing a refund or handling a difficult customer. The manual can include information about company policies and procedures, including when paychecks are issued, how to lodge complaints, sick time and so on. Use bullet points or an outline format to make the manual easy to read and follow.
As you develop the manual, have managers and staffers offer feedback to improve it, and then give each new cashier a copy to refer to should they have questions. In addition, give your employees copies of any cash register user manuals, so they can learn the nuances of the machines they'll be using.
Develop a Training Checklist
Don't rely only on the manual to train your cashiers, however. For smaller businesses, you might have new cashiers work with experienced cashiers to learn the ropes. For larger businesses, developing a series of training videos can save money in labor costs. In any case, develop a checklist of skills that trainers and trainees can use to cover all the basics of receiving money, counting out change, wrapping merchandise and using equipment. As the cashier trainee covers a certain topic, have him check it off the list, indicating he's covered that aspect of the job. And as with all customer service jobs, be sure your trainee knows to smile and use standard friendly greetings at the beginning and end of each interaction.
Test Cashier Skills
Before you put a cashier out on her own, test her skills. From your manual and training program, she should know how to greet customers, ring up sales and handle common problems -- but the test will prove that. Test her skills by having another employee -- who's familiar with the common questions customers might ask -- go through the trainee's checkout line. Have the trainee ring up a complicated order, and ask the trainee to troubleshoot other common problems. If the trainee is not ready to go it alone after that first test, have her run the register as another employee stands by to help -- but be sure to put a "cashier in training" sign near the register so customers understand that they'll need to use a bit more patience with that trainee.
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