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Tips Every Cashier Should Know

By: Mariah Rogers
May 19, 2020 • 3 min read

Rules of The Register

Working the register is not always as easy as it looks. Cashiers have to handle money, customer inquiries, and know the products they are selling inside and out. Multitasking is a must if you are thinking about applying for a cashier job, and practice is everything. Here are tips every cashier should know.

Be Friendly

Most of the time, cashiers are the only personal interaction customers have on a typical shopping trip. Even though as a cashier you are doing the same thing repeatedly, each new customer is an opportunity to meet someone new and different. It is important to greet customers as they approach checkout and represent the company in an upbeat, positive way. Ask if they have found everything okay and see how their day is going. Not only will this brighten their day, but it will make your workday go by a lot faster. This is also a great way to build connections and relationships with customers so that they will continue to return to the store. Cashiers are usually the first and last people a customer sees on their shopping trip, so be your best self!

yellow and red apples on black plastic crate

Take Extra Care to Be Precise

Cashiers have the onerous responsibility of dealing with money. With the integration of so many new payment methods, this can be a tricky task! Customers may pay for items in cash, check, credit, debit, or Apple pay. All of these payment methods have a different process, so it is vital to be familiar with all platforms to best assist customers. You want to make this process as fast and painless as possible for the customer. When in doubt, ask a supervisor for help! You never want to shortchange the customer or the store. This can lead to a warning or even termination.

Be sure to:

  • Always double count the change before you hand money back to the customer
  • Practice counting back change to the customer, so they can be sure they are receiving the correct amount back
  • Take your time when bagging and handling merchandise, show respect for the shopper and the store
  • Never assume, always ask a manager or supervisor if you need help

Bagging On The Fly

If you are working a cashier job, you will probably be folding and bagging at some point in your career. This goes for anyone working in clothing, retail, or a grocery store. Learn from fellow cashiers and use your best judgment to properly pack items safely and neatly. You don’t want to be at fault if an item does not arrive home safely! There are also some great videos online to help prepare you for your first day on the job. Check them out here! The customer will appreciate you greatly, especially if you go the extra mile to bag their items perfectly. This shows respect for both the customer and the merchandise.

Quick tips for bagging purchases:

  • Always ask if the customer wants paper or plastic bags. Some stores charge a price per bag and others have eliminated the use of plastic altogether! Make sure you are up to date on protocols and rules
  • Keep cold items together
  • Try to keep meats separate, if you are able to bag meats with plastic, please do so!
  • Heavy items should go on the bottom of the bag while lighter items go on top
  • Keep fragile items such as eggs and bread safe and packaged carefully
  • Notify the customer of what bags contain fragile items

woman in black zip up jacket wearing blue face mask

Present Yourself Professionally

When handling food and other items for purchase while being a cashier, it is important to present yourself professionally. Having clean fingernails, combed hair, and presentable clothing if you don’t have a required uniform can go a long way! Taking time to polish your appearance will help you represent yourself and the store positively. You will come across as more approachable, respectable, and professional while on the job. Remember, you represent the company while on the clock!

Try to:

  • Tuck in your shirt
  • Wear close-toed shoes when on the job
  • Have a clean face and brushed hair
  • Avoid any clothing that will make it difficult for you to complete the job (Example: Constricting pants if you work a job that requires a lot of moving/lifting).
  • Remove chipped or cracked nail polish
  • Keep your makeup and jewelry simple
  • Avoid any harsh smelling perfume/cologne

Be Patient, Even When It’s Hard

Being patient is one of the most important tips for a cashier! You will likely assist people of all ages if you work as a cashier. Although you might want to work as quickly and efficiently as you can, remember that all customers will want to check out at their own pace. If you are helping someone older, they might take longer to count their change and hand you the money. If you are assisting someone younger, be aware this might be their first-time shopping alone and help to guide them through the process. They might be unsure how to sign for a credit card payment or second-guessing their choice of 2% milk. Try to be as patient and accommodating as possible to ensure a comfortable shopping experience. This will make the customer more likely to return to the store in the future!

Tips for practicing patience as a cashier:

  • Listen before you speak
  • Be mindful of different ages/skill level when it comes to payment and completing the checkout process
  • Always be mindful that some customers do not wish to checkout as quickly as possible
  • Be kind and helpful if a customer has forgotten an item and wishes to run and grab it during checkout

cashier tips

Be Familiar With the Products

Although you are a cashier, customers might ask you about the location and prices of certain items in the store. Of course, you will learn as you go, but try to familiarize yourself with popular items in your first few weeks. This will help you stand out to your supervisors as a fast learner and build your customer service skills! This will also put you at an advantage when it comes time to award promotions within the company. The more knowledgeable you are about the store, the more likely it is that you will be picked for a higher-level position, or even to change departments if your skills would be better suited elsewhere! This is much more common than you might think. For example, a grocery store cashier might become extremely knowledgeable about the fruits & veggies offered by the store and as a result, they will be promoted to produce manager!

Tips for familiarizing yourself with store items:

  • Pay special attention to the location of products when stocking shelves
  • Walk down the aisles while on break
  • While at the register, read the overhead signs to get familiar with the contents of each aisle
  • Make note of the location of specialty products
  • Feel free to keep a cheat sheet in your pocket or inside the drawer of your register

Apologize, Even if It Wasn’t Your Fault

In any job, things do not always go as planned. If an item breaks or spills or if your cash register malfunctions, make sure to apologize to the customer. You are still representing the company, so even if the accident was not your fault, saying sorry can give the customer peace of mind and allow them to feel taken care of in the store. The customer is always right!

Try not to show signs of stress when a challenge occurs either. If you are handling difficult technology or a payment just won’t process – try not to sweat it. This will only make matters worse as you try to solve the problem and diffuse the situation. If you are having trouble, always ask a manager to step in and help.

If you are having trouble diffusing conflict try to:

  • Assure the customer that the problem can and will be solved
  • Make sure that customers who are waiting in line get helped by a coworker ASAP
  • Take a deep breath and don’t raise your voice
  • Make eye contact with the customer to show assurance
  • Be confident in your abilities
  • Ask your manager for some help

Go Above and Beyond

Being a cashier requires a lot more responsibility than just bagging items and counting change. You will be the go-to employee when customers need assistance, so you should be sure to go above and beyond! Not only will this help the customer have a pleasant shopping experience, but your supervisors will certainly take note, too. Putting in the extra effort helps you build new skills and explore the possibility of gaining more responsibility at work (hello promotion)!

Providing excellent customer service can come in many forms. If it is raining outside and someone is parked far away, offer to walk them to their vehicle and hold an umbrella to make the trip less miserable. If an elderly customer is having trouble unloading the items on their cart onto the register belt, offer to unload their groceries for them. You can even offer to help a busy mom load purchases into her trunk as she helps her kids buckle up safely.

All of these examples are perfect instances where customer service makes a shopping experience enjoyable and worthwhile for those visiting your store. Try to go above and beyond, you are not bound to your register!

What cashier tips do you have from your prior work experience? Comment below and let us know! We would love to hear from you.

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