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Become A Customer Service Retail Associate

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Working As A Customer Service Retail Associate

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $21,780

    Average Salary

What Does A Customer Service Retail Associate Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Customer Service Retail Associate

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.

Education

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Training

Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.

Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.

Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.

Advancement

Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.

Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people. 

Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.

Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.

Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.

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Customer Service Retail Associate jobs

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Customer Service Retail Associate Career Paths

Customer Service Retail Associate
Call Center Representative Billing Specialist Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operations Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Associate Delivery Driver Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Associate Office Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Call Center Representative Security Officer Account Manager
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Service Technician Sales Manager
General Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Technician Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Associate Warehouse Manager Sales Manager
Market Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Project Manager Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Hostess Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Merchandiser Sales Manager
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Hostess Specialist Account Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Specialist Account Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Associate Home Health Aid Warehouse Associate
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Retail Sales Lead 2.4 years
Retail Specialist 2.2 years
Retail Sales Clerk 2.2 years
Sales Assoc 2.1 years
Sales Clerk 2.0 years
Retail Clerk 2.0 years
Customer Assistant 1.9 years
Service Cashier 1.9 years
Customer Associate 1.8 years
Key Holder/Manager 1.8 years
Jewelry Consultant 1.7 years
Key Holder 1.7 years
Store Assistant 1.6 years
Sales Associate 1.6 years
Cashier/Sales 1.6 years
Jewelry Associate 1.6 years
Sales Team Member 1.5 years
Cashier Associate 1.5 years
Fashion Consultant 1.5 years
Store Associate 1.4 years
Game Advisor 1.4 years
Associate Retailer 1.4 years
Floor Associate 1.4 years
Retail Cashier 1.4 years
Floor Cashier 1.3 years
Seasonal Associate 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 12.6%
Internship 4.2%
Volunteer 3.1%
Server 2.8%
Assistant 2.7%
Waitress 2.2%
Hostess 2.1%
Manager 1.7%
Top Employers After
Cashier 9.8%
Internship 3.9%
Server 3.3%
Volunteer 2.9%
Teller 2.1%
Associate 2.1%

Customer Service Retail Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

66.8%

Male

31.1%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

76.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.5%

French

7.6%

Italian

3.5%

Chinese

3.5%

German

2.8%

Japanese

2.8%

Mandarin

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Swedish

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Thai

1.4%

Tagalog

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Gujarati

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Khmer

0.7%

Norwegian

0.7%
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Customer Service Retail Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.1%

Liberty University

8.8%

Central Piedmont Community College

5.8%

Georgia State University

5.1%

Grand Canyon University

5.1%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

4.4%

Columbus State Community College

4.4%

University of Texas at San Antonio

4.4%

Miami Dade College

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.4%

University of Southern Maine

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

3.6%

Sierra College

3.6%

West Virginia University

3.6%

Old Dominion University

3.6%

Montgomery County Community College

3.6%

Oakland Community College

3.6%

Portland State University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

25.2%

Criminal Justice

6.8%

Health Care Administration

6.7%

Psychology

6.5%

Communication

5.4%

Accounting

5.4%

General Studies

4.9%

Medical Assisting Services

4.8%

Nursing

4.7%

Liberal Arts

3.8%

Computer Science

3.1%

Education

3.1%

Graphic Design

3.1%

Biology

2.6%

English

2.6%

Elementary Education

2.5%

Marketing

2.4%

Management

2.3%

Fine Arts

2.0%

Cosmetology

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

37.5%

Bachelors

31.5%

Associate

17.1%

Certificate

6.0%

Masters

4.4%

Diploma

2.4%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Customer Service Retail Associate

CustomerServiceSkillsNewMerchandiseSalesFloorCustomerSatisfactionCustomerComplaintsRetailSalesCustomerInquiriesProductKnowledgePhoneCallsCustomerQuestionsGreetingCustomersPOSSalesGoalsSalesPricesDataEntrySpecialOrdersInventoryControlRetailStoreCurrentSalesCommunicationSkills

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Top Customer Service Retail Associate Skills

  1. Customer Service Skills
  2. New Merchandise
  3. Sales Floor
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Strengthened customer service skills while working in a small gift shop setting and attached Flower Shop.
  • Set up displays, stocks shelves, coolers, bins, freezers, containers, or trays with new merchandise.
  • Maintained established merchandising standards, including window, sales floor and promotional displays.
  • Assisted in ringing up sales accurately at registers and/or bagging merchandise to customer satisfaction.
  • Guaranteed positive customer experiences and resolved customer complaints.

Top Customer Service Retail Associate Employers

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