Tips to Train Pet Store Employees to Improve Their Customer Service Skills

by Lisa Fimberg on January 25, 2021

One of the most important aspects in any business is training and guiding your employees to succeed.  By taking the time to ensure that your employees are given the proper support and training, it can be beneficial to them and your store.

Whether you are selling cars, pet supplies or even services, the best way to gain the sale is for your employees to have the necessary sales skillset.   However, before you start to train them on selling, your employees should first know how to greet, communicate, and help your customers.

There are many ways your store managers can help your employees hone their customer service and selling techniques by a method of training called skill practice (some might think of it as role playing).

There are essentially six steps that employers or managers can use to train their employees to master a specific task or behavior with skill practice exercises:

Tell Me

The manager/trainer should articulate the goal and value of their skill practice session.  For example, what exact behavior do they want to practice?  What is the result they should get from this?  Why is this important for your employee to master?

It could be as simple as how you want your pet store counselors to greet in-coming customers.  What is the preferred timing to greet them and dialog to try?

Show Me

The next step would be to show the trainee how to perform the behavior.  In this case, when a new customer walks in the store, you can show them your preferred greeting.

For example, you like them to wait fifteen seconds and then walk up to the customer and greet them by saying “Welcome to ABC Store.  Are you here to meet one of our puppies?”

By showing them the preferred greeting, it can be very effective and make the next step that much easier.

Let Me Try

You should let your employee try the behavior or in this case, greeting.  You can expect that it won’t be perfect on the first try (or maybe it will!) and try to practice in a safe place where the employee feels comfortable.

Let him or her try a couple times until they feel they got it right.

Give Feedback

Provide specific feedback by first asking the employee how they think they executed the skill practice.

“How did that feel? How comfortable was that for you?   I really liked how you said your greeting, but how do you think the customer would feel if you said it this way?  What impact do you think that would make on the customer?

If you had a chance to do it again, what would you do differently?”

Then, if necessary, make a few positive recommendations as well as any improvements you deem necessary or even just a minor tweak or adjustment.

Let Me Try Again

Now let your trainee try the greeting again with the new suggestions and/or recommendations.  Let them try it a few times until they feel they nailed it and are happy with their performance.

Give Me Feedback

Make sure to provide feedback on the second attempt as well.  Always try to find something positive to say even if the second attempt is not that much of an improvement on the first.

“I really appreciate your efforts and I can see you are getting much more comfortable in greeting the customer.   Next time, why don’t you try it this way?”

And, so on goes the practice.   You keep trying until both you and your employee/trainee feels as if they mastered the attempted skill or behavior.

By really taking the time with your employees and showing them that you want them to succeed, it can give them the confidence to own their roles.  It would make for not only a better and more effective employee but a happier one that will stay and grow within your organization.

If you need more help with getting your employees to focus on the floor and not having to answer customer service calls, let us help you.  Our suite of services are designed to help you succeed! Contact out Success Team: successteam@thirdpartypet.com to learn more about our services.

Lisa FimbergTips to Train Pet Store Employees to Improve Their Customer Service Skills