Service Etiquette and Professional Grooming

Service Etiquette and Professional Grooming

The business world is a complex web of interrelationships in the exchange of value between producers/businesses and consumers/customers. There is a form of behavior sanctioned by society and entities within that defines these relationships and a deviation attracts consequences.

As a grocer, do you have good service etiquette and professional grooming? You will have low footfall if your customers do not get good shopping experience despite stocking the best quality products. According to findings on consumer behavior, not a few customers show loyalty to a brand that highly esteems them. In capitalist market theory, it has been established that the customer is king; I will add that, as an employer, first treat your staff as kings and queens then watch how they treat your customers.

In this series on service etiquette with respect to Fast Moving Consumer Goods, FMCG, we will look at the human side of good customer experience on the shop floor. In other words, we will consider the Dos and Donts expected from front-end retail staff as they interact with customers. This first part of the series will avail us an overview of the subsequent parts. Here you may find the solution to your poor sales from real life scenarios of staff-customer interaction.

Posture: What is the right posture for store staff? As a grocer or merchandiser how do you man your sales area? How do you guide inquisitive customers? How do you stand and/or walk? Generally, you are expected to chin up, chest out, pull your belly in, and look forward. For males, when standing, your arms should be down naturally and folded in front or at the back. For females, put your arms down naturally with your right hand over your left on your belly.

Guidance: Customers always need guidance since they are not always familiar with how and where certain products are displayed. Therefore, when guiding a customer to a product, walk two steps ahead with your arm and eyes (not finger) pointing to the direction.

Squat: Restocking and rearrangement of merchandise after customers patronage and contact is one significant and real time activity in the store. Most often, store staff squat the wrong way bottom up exposing their underwear or buttocks (not a good sight) and obstructing customers.

Walk: It is easy to identify a soldier by the way he walks even in mufti because of their training. As a store staff you are expected to walk gracefully without shuffling. You are to walk smartly. Be careful not to get in the way of customers, and your countenance most always be cheerful.

Scenario 1: Road Block

When a customer is in your way or you come face to face, you should never squeeze yourself through. You are to use pleasant words to make the customer give way or you make way for the customer.

  • Store staff: Hello sir/ma’am, excuse me please. Thank you.

Scenario 2: Customer as the priority

Whenever you meet a customer, you must suspend your activity to honor, greet, and ask in what way you could help.

  • Store staff: Welcome to DriveMeNuts! How may I be of help? Beckon on me when you need help.
  • Customer: Sure. Thanks.

Scenario 3: When a Customer Needs Help

When customers need help you should immediately stop whatever you are doing and attend to the customer.

  • Store staff: Hi, welcome to DriveMeNuts.
  • Customer: Hi there. I am look for adult male glasses, they are no longer where I saw them the last time I came, where did you put them, please?
  • Store staff: Come with me please. Here they are.
  • Customer: Thank you.
  • Store staff: You are welcome.

Scenario 4: Forbidden Expression

  • Customer: Excuse me, could you come, please?
  • Store staff: Hello Ma’am, how can I help you?
  • Customer: How do I use this product?
  • Store staff: I don’t know.
  • Customer: Oh, really?!
  • Store staff: Yes Sir, I have no idea.
  • Customer: Do you have deodorants?
  • Store staff: I am not sure. I am a new staff.

Scenario 5: Correct Expression

  • Customer: Hello, come please.
  • Store staff: Hello ma’am, how can I help you?
  • Customer: How do I use this product?
  • Store staff: Sorry, I will find someone to help. Please wait a moment.
  • Customer: Do you have deodorants?
  • Store staff: Sorry, I will confirm and get back to you. Wait a moment, please.

Scenario 6: Reminding Customers of Anti-theft

This is very important in order not to embarrass your customers, and to make potential pilfers know their is surveillance.

  • Store staff: Welcome to DriveMeNuts. Your wallet is exposed. Please take care of your personal belonging to avoid losing them.
  • Customer: Thank you.
  • Store staff: Hello, welcome to DriveMeNuts. I am sorry we don’t allow bags inside the store. Let me keep it for you please. Here is your key/tag.
  • Customer: Thank you.
  • Store staff: You are welcome.

Scenario 7: Check Receipt

Store staff: Hello sir, please may I see your receipt. Let me have a look at your bag, please. Thank you for shopping. Please come again. Bye.


A high volume and value of transaction is easy with consistent adherence to good service etiquette and professional grooming. It’s said, a good product sells itself. Good service is good product. A simple smile from a grocer has made many loyal customers, while a rude attitude has made many to abandon what they bought and never return. An investment on service etiquette has a very high return on investment, ROI. You could be excellent at this, but what about your floor staff or employees that daily interface with your customers?

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