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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

  • $93,298

    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 Videos

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Customer Service Retail Associate Career Paths

Customer Service Retail Associate
Specialist Operations Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Warehouse Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Home Health Aid Front Desk Agent
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Operations Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Crew Member Correction Officer General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Hostess Specialist Account Manager
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Pharmacist Technician Sales Consultant Business Developer
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Technician Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Specialist Merchandiser
Merchandising Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Crew Member General Manager Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Call Center Representative Service Representative Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Account Manager
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Account Executive
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Hostess Office Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Call Center Representative Security Officer Technician
Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Recruiter Senior Advisor
Store Leader
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Customer Service Retail Associate?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Retail Sales Lead 2.4 years
Retail Sales Clerk 2.2 years
Retail Clerk 2.0 years
Sales Clerk 2.0 years
Customer Assistant 1.9 years
Sales Associate 1.6 years
Cashier/Sales 1.6 years
Retail Cashier 1.4 years
Associate Retailer 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Customer Service Retail Associate
Cashier 14.0%
Teller 11.7%
Internship 4.1%
Volunteer 3.4%
Assistant 3.4%
Server 2.8%
Waitress 2.2%
Hostess 2.0%
Top Careers After Customer Service Retail Associate
Cashier 10.2%
Teller 9.9%
Internship 3.8%
Volunteer 3.4%
Server 3.3%
Associate 2.1%

Do you work as a Customer Service Retail Associate?

Customer Service Retail Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

65.8%

Male

32.1%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

18.9%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.8%

French

7.9%

Italian

3.9%

Chinese

3.3%

German

3.3%

Japanese

2.6%

Mandarin

2.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Swedish

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Russian

1.3%

Thai

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

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

15.8%

Liberty University

9.9%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.8%

Central Piedmont Community College

5.3%

University of South Florida

4.7%

Columbus State Community College

4.7%

Kaplan University

4.7%

Grand Canyon University

4.7%

Ashford University

4.1%

Georgia State University

4.1%

Miami Dade College

4.1%

University of Central Florida

4.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.1%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.5%

University of Texas at San Antonio

3.5%

West Virginia University

3.5%

San Jose State University

3.5%

Santa Monica College

3.5%

Strayer University

3.5%

University of Southern Maine

2.9%
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Majors

Business

25.3%

Psychology

7.2%

Criminal Justice

6.7%

Health Care Administration

6.3%

Communication

5.6%

Accounting

4.9%

General Studies

4.8%

Nursing

4.7%

Medical Assisting Services

4.5%

Liberal Arts

3.8%

Graphic Design

3.3%

Education

3.1%

Computer Science

3.0%

English

2.7%

Biology

2.4%

Marketing

2.4%

Fine Arts

2.3%

Management

2.3%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Elementary Education

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

37.3%

Bachelors

32.1%

Associate

16.7%

Certificate

5.8%

Masters

4.6%

Diploma

2.4%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Customer Service Retail Associate Videos

Day in the Life of a GNC Employee Drug Cleanser People" - xtranormal"

A Look Inside: Retail Careers | AT&T

Life Of A Macy's Associate

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Top Skills for A Customer Service Retail Associate

  1. Customer Service
  2. New Merchandise
  3. Credit Card
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided impeccable customer service, Developed and implemented online customer orders, Researching skills to problem solve information as needed.
  • Stocked retail area when new merchandise arrived also replenished everyday items.
  • Totaled customer merchandise selection at checkout counter, used cash register and accepted cash or credit card for purchases.
  • Used forklift and pallet jack to bring materials from warehouse to sales floor for stocking.
  • Create a welcoming environment for retail and business customers both in the retail store and on the phone.

How Would You Rate Working As a Customer Service Retail Associate?

Are you working as a Customer Service Retail Associate? Help us rate Customer Service Retail Associate as a Career.

Top Customer Service Retail Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Customer Service Retail Associate Employers

Customer Service Retail Associate Videos

Day in the Life of a GNC Employee Drug Cleanser People" - xtranormal"

A Look Inside: Retail Careers | AT&T

Life Of A Macy's Associate

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