Good company to work for. Working in checkouts/services can be a lot of fun if you're eager to learn and move around.
Customer Service Desk Colleague/Checkout Operator (Current Employee) – East Midlands – 16 August 2018
Having worked for 3 different retail companies since leaving school, alongside studying full-time I would definitely recommend Asda as a company to work for.
I work at a large and busy Superstore in the East Midlands and I'm going to give a pretty detailed and honest review.
I applied for an 8 hour Sunday Checkout Operator job in November as a Seasonal Colleague (for the Christmas period) but ended up being offered a permanent contract.
'Mainbank' Checkout Operator role: For the first few months as a Checkout Operator my role was solely to sit on a till and serve customers who come through for the entire shift. The till systems that Asda use are very old and literally just a keyboard with a tiny two-line screen, but they work fine and once you've learnt how to use it properly then they are quite efficient. Asda are really big on giving good customer service and they expect 100% effort at all times when it comes to service. Checkout Operators are trained to follow 'Easy, fast and friendly', 'Greet, Help, Thank' and 'Six Ahead' which are Customer Service ways of working. The ways of working are assessed regularly by mystery shoppers and if a colleague fails a mystery shopper audit then the whole store will lose out on the bonus and it usually leads to some kind of disciplinary hearing. Audits can be failed for something as simple as forgetting to give a warm and friendly parting comment to a customer. Asda make no secret of the fact that they are determined to be distinguishable from competitors such as Aldi and Lidl by giving amazing customer service.
Once youmore... get the hang of mainback checkouts there are opportunities to work on the Self-scan and Hybrid checkouts where all the same policies apply but the till systems are completely different. Working on self-scan/hybrids tends to feel a bit more fast-paced and less boring than being sat at a till, so it's good for colleagues who prefer being a bit more active at work. The downsides are that the systems are pretty terrible and always crashing, customers don't always know how to use them which can get irritating, customers are a lot ruder and very impatient on the tills, sometimes getting angry.
I realised that if you get the basics right and do your job properly and competently you'll be given more opportunities within the department and I was offered training on the Kiosk and Customer Service Desk which I was really happy with.
At my store there is a huge amount of overtime available for me because I can cover any checkout roles so when I'm not at uni I can work up to 70 hours a week. Most weeks when I'm not at uni I do 50+ hours a week.
Working on the Customer Service Desk: After being trained to work on the Desk I found that I actually really enjoyed it and time was flying by. Working on the Desk is great for anyone who likes to be busy and active at work. You're given a lot of responsibility including the discretion to give up to £50 goodwill to customers on your own volition, a supervisor override key and code, tannoy announcements, returns and exchanges (makes up the bulk of the work), responsibilities with store evacuations, lost children in store, dealing with complaints, visitors and being a general point of contact/reception for colleagues. Store management were very helpful for the first couple of months and I was always paired with an experienced CSD colleague for the first few weeks but eventually you are expected to resolve things without involving management. The best thing about working on the desk for me is the variety and responsibility of work which you don't really get with other jobs in store, but that's not great for someone who just wants to come to work and get paid to do the bare minimum, which a lot of colleagues want.
Pros of Customer Service Desk: - Variety of work. - Time flies by. - Being able to 'wow' customers with goodwill to keep them happy and coming back when we've got it wrong. - You are trusted by managers and they will normally support your decisions. - You generally have a good relationship with all colleagues. - Being friendly (even though it's forced) all day is good for your mood - When customers are aggressive or generally being out of order you can ask them to leave the store and ban them for life, if they refuse then security/management will back you up. - Once you've worked on the desk you can work anywhere in services including being a runner, host, nights etc. - Puts you in good place for promotion to section leader - You learn a lot about Asda - Learn to deal with conflict and how to argue but in a corporate way. - Learning to be firm with people such as when you need to explain that we won't refund something for whatever reason and your decision is final. - It's really good for improving your confidence, you learn how to talk to all types of people from all walks of life.
Cons of Customer Service Desk: - Colleagues aren't always helpful and responsive, sometimes ignoring tannoy callouts and calls to the desk to help customers with enquires on their department. - Colleagues always tell customers to 'go to the customer service desk' if they don't know the answer to something. - Can't sit down (but you get used to that) - When the store is short-staffed or busy you might be working on your own and have queues to manage without support. - Can be extremely stressful when you're busy and customers won't be understanding. You'll sometimes be surrounded by people who all want your help at the same time. Then when (if) it quietens down you have to remember everything that you need to log. - If a customer is overcharged because a multi-buy deal didn't come off then you have to do the maths which is sometimes really complicated. - You're expected to keep the desk looking clean and uncluttered which is impossible when you're busy. - There is a lot of paperwork for different things, and if you forget to log anything you'll be accountable. There is logging for all refunds over £25, voids/aborts over £20, defective/faulty returns logging which takes a few minutes per item and has to be done on the computer, goodwill logs, cash loan logs, lost property etc etc. - There are a lot of policies and procedures to know and memorise (but they are available on the computer if you forget) - Colleagues who have worked on the desk for years can be quite patronising and have different ways of working to you which can cause clashes. - Asda don't have a system for searching stock availability in your own store or any other store, its all by phone which is time-consuming and irritating for you and the customer. - Customers (and some colleagues) expect you to know absolutely everything about everything. They will expect you to know where exactly where everything is located in the store. - Customers do come to the desk who are angry and sometimes aggressive/threatening but this is quite rare and there are procedures for this but it is does happen from time-to-time and can ruin your day. - Some customers will lie and try to scam you, such as trying to return things fraudulently or making false complaints for goodwill. - Your customer service skills have to be 100%, all the time. Standards for customer service at the customer service desk are obviously a lot lot higher than for anyone else in the whole store. - You have to deal with rotten food that's returned which is pretty smelly. People will return dirty underwear/clothes and claim that its faulty and you have to handle it with your bare hands.
Lenient with hours, work as much as you like and choose your overtime (pretty much unlimited), fast-paced, good opportunities on checkouts, great colleagues, most customers are lovely
At times the management is pretty poor and things aren't always well organised, management lack attention to detail and don't fix obvious problems, things are often untidy which is easily fixed but ignored
Porter/Checkout Operator (Former Employee) – Birmingham – 7 August 2018
The managers have no clue whats going on and don't care about you. All they care about is getting promotions and will use anyone to there. Constantly under staffed and expect the same results and all they go on about is how the wage bill is too expensive. They simply don't have a clue whats going on.
Checkout Operator (Current Employee) – Ayr – 5 August 2018
The benefit payout scheme is good, if you have the funds to put into it. There is overtime available, but usually the same people get the overtime hours before you have a chance. The company used to be family orientated, but with changes and management cut downs, the atmosphere went downhill.
ASDA is great as a first point, it can teach you a lot and most management can guide you in the right direction. However, with the amount of competition around ASDA can not afford to keep a good amount of staff employed which can affect its day to day running. Most colleagues are over worked and stressed. Its a different place to work compared to 5 years ago.
Checkout Operator (Former Employee) – Liverpool – 1 May 2018
You're given guaranteed hours which is great since then you know exactly how much you're receiving when paid. Paid monthly so have to be able to organize and spread your money over a few weeks. Staff were lovely and nice but working on tills is sometimes boring and difficult during peak times, e.g. Christmas.
Customer Service Desk & Checkout Operator (Former Employee) – Conwy – 30 April 2018
Asda is an awesome place to work. The team is made up of family and friends that support and encourage each other. The bonus scheme is a great incentive to raise the level of customer service. Excellent opportunity for management progression.
friendly work environment, good bonus and discount scheme..
Cashier,part time,permanent (Former Employee) – South ruislip – 25 April 2018
No support once you start.management hardly every there.section leaders always finish early.and if your working late you are in charge of everything.never enough staff.u had 4 customer service tills.sometimes struggling for 1 colleague to be there.tills were dirty and toilets were always dirty as cleaners finished early .That's customer and staff toilets. Short breaks and always doing overtime.couldnt talk to your colleagues as being told u weren't doung your job if you talked to them .unless it near retirement and need a little part timer with basic wage or a students first job then it is such a let down. If any other dept needs you they put u anywhere forget what your job role is.
Nice colleaques, staff discount days.
Short break.poor managers, no support when during your shift.
Checkout Operator (Former Employee) – Leckwith – 23 April 2018
In Asda i learnt how to met nd greet in the correct mannor, i also learnt how to cash handle and till control, checking thriugg shopping, assisting customers enquiries and helping to bag up their shopping and also keeping my check out area clean and tiday. The easiest part if the job was cash handling.
Checkout Operator (Former Employee) – Mitcham, Greater London – 15 April 2018
A very interesting place to work at, as I have learnt many skills from Asda. for example: keeping up-to-date with time and people, working within a team, handling different personalities within the work place, working under pressure and always keeping a smile on the face as I had the opportunity to work at a check-out operator.
It can be an okay place to work if you are not stuck on terrible hours. Never use to mind having to work weekends but I currently work Fridays and Saturdays and that is EVERY week unless I can get a day off which is virtually impossible on a Saturday. My hours are such that I can't do anything socially on those days and my social life has been severely affected. I can appreciate the requirement of working weekends but nobody really wants to work Saturdays and I feel that contracts should allow at least one Saturday off a month which I was promised when I joined Asda but it never happened.
As far as the job is concerned there are the usual challenges. The main one being lack of staff. I work on the checkouts and they have refurbished most of the store apart from the checkouts. The checkouts look like they belong in the stone age and hardly anything works. It is frankly quite embarrassing sometimes.
Communication needs to be more organised in relating important information to checkout operators. The staff are generally nice people to work with, no problems with any of my colleagues.