Staff Training Key to Black Friday Success

Because of the business potential, and safety risks, that are present during the Black Friday weekend, communication among your staff is more important than ever.  Almost like planning for a big game, you should have regular staff meetings leading up to Black Friday.  All employees, no matter where they will be stationed, need to know about your crowd management strategies and processes. First, make sure you not only have adequate numbers of staff on hand, but also plan to have additional staff either on call, or physically present, in case the need arises.  All staff members should know what the most popular items will be, and the exact places in the stores where this merchandise will be located.  Everyone should be given proper instructions on how to handle emergencies and what to do if they witness potentially dangerous situations. There should be employees designated to handle customer communication.  And there should be a clear chain of command so that each employee knows who needs to be alerted in case of problems or questions.  Some employees should also be given the responsibility for calling 911 or local police should such need arise.  Make sure every employee knows what to do if they encounter shoppers who pose a risk of physical harm to other shoppers or to staff. Management must also make sure there are contingency plans in case merchandise sells out, and that all staff members are in the know about these backup plans.  Have signs prepared to explain what customers should do in case of sellouts.  If products sell out, an appropriate number of customer service staff members should be designated to handle communications with customers about the situation in a calm and friendly manner.