Training Prepares Staff For COVID Conflict

As anxiety continues to rise among the general public amid the relentless COVID-19 pandemic, preparing retail staff early will help ease tensions in-store and provide better customer service going into the annual peak shopping season, says the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). It has partnered with the NRF Foundation to develop training to prevent and de-escalate customer conflict specific to frontline, customer-facing retail workers and job seekers. CPI reports that inquiries on de-escalation information has doubled since the pandemic was declared. “COVID-19 anxiety continues to rise in businesses and elsewhere across the United States,” says Susan Driscoll, president of CPI. “Overall tensions are a frequent concern for essential workers who are faced with activating and managing mask mandates, while also trying to keep the peace among customers.” The customized COVID-19 customer conflict prevention training specifically focuses on identifying the stages of someone in crisis, strategies to prevent a crisis, verbal de-escalation skills, and other techniques to keep employees and customers safe.