Retail Hell: How To Deal With Angry Customers On Black Friday

Cashier bored because there are no customers. Isolated on white.

Working retail on Black Friday? We’re praying for you.

If you’re stuck working on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, know that I feel you and I’ve been there. Retail, despite the lack of respect the industry gets, is one of the toughest jobs out there, especially on Black Friday, which is especially, well, dark for those stuck working it. Here are some tips to deal with Black Friday lunatics if you’re stuck slaving to the man when you’d rather be eating leftovers and watching Rambo movies on your couch:

If a customer is driving you insane on Black Friday, follow these steps.
1. Take a deep breath. Seriously. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Count to five.
2. Smile.
3. Acknowledge the customer’s feelings: “I understand you’re frustrated/upset/angry/sad.” That gives you not only a bit more of a rapport with the customer, it also buys you a tiny bit more time to think about how to actually deal with the issue.
4. Smile.
5. Reiterate the customer’s statements back to them in the form of a question: “So you’re saying that the 30-inch Samsung flatscreen you wanted is out of stock and you want a raincheck?” That ensures you’ll understand each other, which is especially important because nothing makes a (semi-)rational customer angrier than when they think you’re not listening to them.
6. Smile.
7. Be very, very direct: “Yes, I can help,” or “Sorry, I can’t assist you with this concern. Let me get a manager for you.”
8. Smile.
9. If they’re still acting like a bargain-hungry sociopath, call for reinforcements. You’re probably not getting paid enough to put up with that shit.

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