Dealing with Overwhelmed Retail Associates? Here’s What To Do.


Today’s retail associates have to deal with the constant demand to deliver meaningful experiences at every touch point on the customer journey. Although new technologies continue to influence the desire to shop online, studies show that customers still expect to interact with well-informed, knowledgeable, attentive store associates in the brick-and-mortar space.

As these expectations soar to new heights, it’s no wonder that your retail associates sometimes feel overwhelmed on the job.

Imagine your associate is attempting to help an eager customer find what they are looking for and suddenly realizes another customer in their section is becoming extremely impatient as they await their turn. Just as the associate approaches the next customer to assess their needs, a toddler accidently spills a drink in the middle of the aisle.

Situations like this happen all the time, and the last thing you need is overwhelmed employees feeling like they can’t do their job. By helping your associates find balance, you can empower them while enabling your retail team to focus on the things that matter.

Here are a few ways to prevent associate burnout in your retail store.

Easy, breezy, good communication. Give your retail associates every opportunity to easily communicate with their team whenever they need to ask questions to better inform their customer. For example, calling the back room to see if they have that green shirt in a size medium instead of running to the storeroom to check. Equipping your associates with easy-to- use, effective technology allows them to stay fully engaged and active on the sales floor.

Keep calm and call for backup. Sometimes a store associate just needs a little help. Empower them with the technology they need to request assistance without customers noticing. For example, implementing a queue management system allows associates to automatically summon backup when checkout lines are too long. The use of this new technology will not only reduce your associate’s stress level, but also create efficiency for improved customer satisfaction.

Automate answers. There’s obviously nothing better than a friendly face there to answer customer questions for your customers. But that’s not always possible. When your associates are occupied with other customers or tasks, iBeacons can send push notifications to anyone with your store app to welcome them, let them know about sales, etc. That way, your associates don’t feel obligated to ignore important responsibilities for tasks that advanced technology can handle.

As a retail leader, it’s your responsibility to help your associates find the balance needed to perform effectively on the sales floor. Some degree of stress is normal, but you don’t want a team that’s in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. By fine-tuning your in-store communication process, you can improve employee engagement and performance to achieve high-level results.

Dealing with overwhelmed retail associates? Here's what to do.

The last thing you need is overwhelmed employees feeling like they can’t do their job. By helping your associates find balance, you can empower them while enabling your retail team to focus on the things that matter.