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Cashier jobs in Coles - Working behind the till as a customer service officer

Updated on September 20, 2011
Premier Anna Bligh working at Coles as a checkout chick
Premier Anna Bligh working at Coles as a checkout chick

Finding a job as a cashier in Coles whether full time or part time, is just the beginning of a life changing journey. Customer service officer, checkout chick or checkout chap, call it what you want, read on to find out job details of your time working behind the till in retail. You will not find this career guidance and customer service job details in any employee handbook. Here's a different perspective on your cashier's job at Coles, one of Australia's biggest employers.

3 types of employees in the store

When you begin your job in Coles, you'll come across three types of employees.

1. Employees who really don't care about working in customer service

These are the folks who are working at Coles behind the till or in the store simply to pay bills while they get through a rough patch or finish studying. They carry an "I don't care attitude" on the store floor and are hardly bother if a customer's been short changed or there's been a spill on the store floor.

2. Employees who care about their work but only working to pay the bills

These employees at a Coles store are the people who may be meticulous at their jobs, but in the back of their minds they know that this is just a part time or temporary job. Many managers consider these employees to be ideal employees because their services to the Coles store are invaluable and they are an asset to the store. There is even potential of these employees being recruited by Coles in their graduate programs or in their back offices after they finish their studies. A win-win for the employee, and for Coles.

3. Employees who care about their work and pursue their jobs at Coles as full time careers

These people are usually the store managers and second in-charges (2IC). They work at the store to pursue a full time career and are usually the ones calling the shots in the store.

4 types of customers at Coles

The customers that you are going to face while you work at Coles will be the source of your joy, frustration, anger, amusement and happiness.

1. Customers who are out there to pick a battle

These customers will have decided when they would have left their homes that they want to pick up a fight or argument with the guy or girl working on the till at Coles. Regardless of the situation, all your efforts to pacify or sort an issue out with the customer are going to go in vain. Your best bet is to pick up the phone and call for the manager or 2IC to take over while you can carry on serving other customers.

2. Customers who are extremely friendly

These customers will walk up to your till with a smile on their faces and will surely brighten up your day. A pretty girl or a cute guy who is such a friendly customer may spend just a couple of minutes chatting with you on the till, but will make you feel that your cashier's job is the best job in the world.

3. Customers who are least bothered

These customers will be least bothered about the guy or girl working behind the customer service desk. They seem to have just one mission in mind which is to make their purchase and get out of the store. They may seem half asleep or sometimes just plain rude, but don't boil your blood too much over such customers. They simply want to buy groceries and go on about their day.

4. Really stupid customers

You will find some customers at Coles, or for that matter any supermarket or store who just don't seem to understand a pricing policy, discounts, promotions, coupons or deals. They will argue with you till no end until you somehow manage to convince them that you are not ripping them off. Be warned of such customers because the chances that they might drop in a complaint about you are likely, even if it is no fault of yours.

Systems, processes and IT at Coles

You will gradually realize over time in your cashier's job at Coles that the IT, systems and related processes are the backbone of Coles' retail operation in Australia. Your till will be your best mate till the time you continue working in the store in a customer service role. Coles has strong system processes in place which makes it really easy and user-friendly for the staff to go about their day to day duties including all the paperwork at the end of your shift. From an IT support desk to contractors who will reach your store in no time are some of the benefits of working at Coles. If you think that a good setup of systems and processes don't really matter in your job as a cashier in Coles, think again. Try working a shift when EFT lines are down or when there are technical glitches. Bottom line is that you better learn to respect the system and processes that are in place.

Customer service job at Coles – Love it or hate it?

Without a doubt, your cashier's job at Coles will make you develop a love hate relationship with the thought of working in a store. Like any other job, there will be days when a friendly customer chats you up and brings a smile to your face. If you are lucky, they may even leave great feedback for you in the suggestion box at Coles. On the other hand, an irate customer may vent his/her frustration and anger over other issues in life, at you in the store. This day will generally turn into a customer service nightmare, leaving you thinking "I should quit this job right now".

Here are things that you can do to make your job in customer service at Coles more enjoyable and make your time in the store the most memorable period of your life.


Customers love smiling faces and they will usually reciprocate the warmth.

Make friends for life

Make friends with your customers. Over a period of time, your regular customers at Coles will drop in to say Hi even if they don't want to purchase anything.

Laugh it off

As difficult as it sounds, laugh off a nerve wracking situation with an irate customer. Don't do too much retrospective thinking about an argument with a customer.

Live on feedback

Your customers, contractors and managers will often leave feedback in the form of suggestions or subtle hints during conversations. The faster you learn to decipher feedback from the regular chit-chat, the easier it is going to be for you to work as a cashier behind the till.

Be presentable

Customers love the sight of a groomed and healthy looking person serving them at the till. On the other hand, they hate the sight of a shabby customer service officer.

Enjoy your job as a customer service officer

You may not realize this right now, but when the years go by you will look back at your job as a cashier or a customer service officer at Coles and go "That was the best job I've ever had" The job is easy, you meet new people every day and you get to be yourself. There are few work environments which offer you this level of freedom. Enjoy it before the rut of life swoops in and you're sucked into your 9 to 5 job.


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    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 6 years ago

      Great hub on all that working retail entails. I've definitely seen those 3 types of employees before. Retail isn't for everyone I suppose but it does help pay those bills :) Coles sounds like a good place to work. We have Kohls around here which is a big department store that sells clothes and home items. No Coles though :) Great hub, voted up.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Hi Natalie

      "....found it daunting to keep up with the pace" You're absolutely right. A job as a cashier can really drain you out. In fact, after a long shift it can feel as if you're totally burned out. But then again, it keep you busy and helps pays the bills. Top that off with metting amusing characters, like you say. From my time working at the till, I've made friends, future employers and a lot more! Can't complain, can you?

      I missed your comment earlier but I'm glad I saw it today. Thanks heaps for stopping by on this one.


    • profile image

      Textured Ideas 6 years ago

      I think you've really captured the customer service world in a nutshell here! Cashier jobs can be hard work, I've had a couple of those jobs before and sometimes found it daunting to keep up with the pace. But it's great to stay busy and is interesting to see what characters pop up throughout the day! =)

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      I did not know that Coles was the name of a book store in Canada, Flora.

      As you've worked in a customer service role, I'm sure you can relate to the points mentioned in this hubs.

      Thank you for the warm note for 100 followers!


    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      I did not know that Coles was the name of a book store in Canada, Flora.

      As you've worked in a customer service role, I'm sure you can relate to the points mentioned in this hubs.

      Thank you for the warm note for 100 followers!


    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago


      Even I used to like the #3 customers because they know what they want are are generally your typical no-nonsense customers. They may come of as rude or curt at times, but hey, that's any day better than customers who are clueless about products or deals they're buying, and end up creating a big scene.

      You're right with the world surviving on #3 employees and #2 and #3 customers. If I go to coles, I'd be #3 customer.


    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      Congratulations on passing the 100 followers mark!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I've never worked at a department store, although I have taken orders at a pizza place before when Dad owned one, so I have some customer service. In Canada, Coles is the name of a bookstore. It's still in operation too, although bookstores are dying out.

    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      Excellent hub, princesswithapen. The combination ofa #3 employee with a #2 or #3 customeris what makes the world go round. Life would be beautiful if all transactions went that way. Voted up, useful, and interesting.


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