Good cashier training is critical to your business running smoothly. The benefits of well-trained cashiers include shorter queues and happier customers, more accuracy and less fraud and a balanced cash drawer at the end of the shift.
So it’s important to provide comprehensive customer service training for any employee who might process payments. The cash till training tips below can help you train cashiers for better efficiency, smoother onboarding, fraud reduction and handling angry customers effectively.
Cashier training tips for efficiency
Well-trained cashiers not only process payments quickly and correctly, but they also provide a friendly face for your brand. The following training tips help streamline the checkout process, which is good for customers and your business’ bottom line.
- Use a point of sale (POS) that’s easy to use and can be tailored to your business. Square’s secure, free POS app is designed for speed and ease of use and runs on Apple and Android devices.
- Purchase a barcode scanner if you have high product volume.
- If you use paper receipts, show your cashier how to load a new receipt roll and let them practice so they don’t fumble while ringing up a customer. Or better still, switch to a POS with digital receipts.
- When giving change, train cashiers to hand customers coins first and then notes. If you put coins on top of notes, they can slide off onto the floor.
Till training tips to improve onboarding
A well-thought-out cashier training procedure helps your new cashiers operate the till with confidence, giving them the tools they need to take customers’ payments and reduce their reliance on other staff.
- Have your best cashier run your cash till training and let your new hires shadow them before they’re given the reins.
- Run your cashier training during a slow time in the day. Practice making purchases, going through the entire payment flow. Have each new hire cancel transactions to practice issuing refunds.
- Cover less frequent transaction types, like returns, as part of your cash till training.
- Give cashiers a sheet with the codes you use for products to take home and memorise.
Cash till training tips to reduce fraud
To protect your business, your cashier training should include money-handling best practices and tips to reduce fraud.
- Explain how much money is in the float (that’s the cash sitting in your till) at the start of each shift as well as the process for counting money at the beginning and end of each shift. For example, who unlocks the safe and who signs off on the money?
- Many businesses set a certain tolerance for the till contents to be higher or lower than expected before an investigation is raised. Decide your business’s approach when it comes to cash shortages and make sure your cashiers are well aware of it.
- Create a cash-handling policy and have your cashiers sign it.
- Teach the basics of how to spot counterfeit money in your cashier training.
- Inspect all notes for signs of counterfeit. (Interestingly, ‘Adam Smith’ £20 notes are the most counterfeited denomination in the UK.)
- Have a credit card processing system that checks the unique CVV security code for payments to help guard against cloned cards.
- If your drawer is full of new notes, crinkle them a little to avoid accidentally overpaying a customer.
- It’s good practice for cashiers to say a note’s denomination out loud when a customer hands it to them. This helps avoid honest mistakes and fraud.
- Similarly, if it’s not too busy, it’s a good idea for cashiers to count change back to customers. (‘That’s ten, fifteen pounds and fifty pence.’)
- Use a POS that lets you manage employee access so more sensitive business information is password protected and only accessible to managers or certain senior employees. Square Point of Sale has secure employee permissions.
- Teach the rules of PCI compliance. This is especially important if cashiers accept credit card information over the phone or keep paper records. To make sure you’re compliant, use a secure system like our Card on File payments to safely store or charge credit cards for repeat clients.
Cashier training tips for handling angry customers
Despite your staff’s best efforts, sometimes things go wrong and customers get angry. Have a clear, approved way of handling upset customers.
Take cues from Nonviolent Communication, a communication technique that focuses on active listening and empathy. During cash till training, discuss the process and role play — first with the new hire as the angry customer and the experienced cashier demonstrating how to defuse the situation. Then switch roles. Offer constructive feedback afterwards.
These tips can help your staff handle angry customers:
- Stay calm. This is a tough one, especially if someone is yelling at you. Take deep breaths and remember not to take it personally.
- Be an active listener. Angry customers have something to get off their chest, so before jumping in with solutions, hear what they have to say. Use good, open body language, including sitting or standing up straight with your arms uncrossed and maintain good eye contact.
- Echo and get clarification. Repeat the customer’s key complaint back to them so you make sure you understand what they’re unhappy about. (‘I see, so you noticed a defect in the item once you bought it home?’)
- Empathise. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and let them know you understand how they feel. (‘I appreciate how inconvenient this all must be, we’ll get that sorted for you.’)
- Apologise. Say you’re sorry, even if their complaint seems trivial. Make it clear that you want to help them – and keep them as a customer. (‘I apologise for the trouble this has caused you, let’s see what we can do to resolve the issue.’)
- Offer a solution. The solution depends on the severity of the problem and your business’s policies. If someone bought a product that didn’t work, you can give them a refund or offer them a similar product to replace it. In the case of food, e.g., a cake purchased at a coffee shop, you can offer them a fresh one and throw in a free coffee. You can also ask the customer what they would like you to do to help make amends. (Know what you’re allowed to offer on your own and what you’d need manager approval for.)
- Know when to get help. If the situation escalates, get a more senior employee, such as your manager, to help resolve things.
- Take a break. Once the situation has been taken care of and the customer has left, it’s a good idea to take a couple of minutes to calm down. A quick break, like a walk or a quick chat with colleagues, can help you bounce back emotionally and feel ready to get back to helping customers.
Now that you’re armed with these cash till training tips, you should be able to organise a comprehensive cashier training procedure and get your new hire quickly up to speed and ready to accept payments.