Keeping customers happy is the most essential part of running any shop. Happy customers are good for business, and encourage their friends and family to visit too. This is what makes the shop assistant one of the most important parts of the business. Selling, taking payments and keeping the store well presented are all part of the job. Dealing with the customer every day - they can make a lasting impression that reflects on the whole business.
Much of a shop assistant's time will be spent helping the customer find what they need. Along with this, they will need to offer advice, field questions on items, answer stock queries and be knowledgeable about any promotions that are running. In specialist shops, the sales assistant will be an expert on anything from IT to sporting goods - making an ability to learn quickly a must.
Customer service comes in at the top of the pile of sought after skills for any shop assistant. Keeping a cool head in difficult situations, a confident manner and a genuine interest in the products are all part of this.
Responsibilities can be as varied as the type of shop worked in. The shop assistant needs to be comfortable working with numbers, electronics tills and the public all in surroundings that can turn high pressure in a moment.
Academic qualifications are no replacement for enthusiasm, passion and a positive attitude, although a good standard of general education is a help. You will also need to be in fairly good shape - putting displays together, helping customers and working at hectic times of the year like Christmas can be a real test of stamina!