Staff Training in Technological Times
Customers are now more informed than ever, so when they go into the store or call up with questions, the pressure is on for retail staff to come up with the right answer. Service is more than just courtesy, politeness and ‘have a nice day’, it’s enabling the customer to experience their time how they choose to, in a way that best suits their needs and desires. So, rather than asking, “How are you today?” they should really be asking: “How can we give you the best 30 minutes of your day?”
36 million productive selling days are lost in retail because of stuff turnover.
However, many retailers have reported that only around 10% of applicants to their retail roles were properly qualified and the majority had a ‘poor attitude’. In their defense, 32% of retail employees say they don’t receive any formal training and of those that do, 35% believe it’s ineffective.
The retail industry suffers from a huge staff turnover rate and loses up to 236 million productive days of selling because of it. But the truth remains that highly engaged employees deliver fantastic customer service that keeps shoppers coming back. So let’s have a look at how technology can help with the problem.
Stepping into the Virtual World
Training staff using Virtual Reality is becoming more and more popular with the likes of Walmart and Lowe using it to train thousands of employees. It means training is carried out in a true-to-life environment, best-performing employees are kept on the shop floor, procedures are quickly updated and new modules added for a special promotion or seasonal burst. It allows staff to build empathy with difficult customers, giving them time to practise without real world consequences. And if there is high turnover of staff, time has not been wasted on training them.
Listening a Little Closer
For customers hoping to close the deal or offer a higher standard of customer service by phone, VoiceOps is the way to go. Gone are the days where supervisors have to listen to hours of calls per rep to work out how best to coach them. It allows retailers to track how staff are performing each week on core sales competencies such as probing questions and describing benefits and up-selling. It allows them to quickly bring new team members up to speed with recordings and metrics and breaks down core skills and highlights behavioural differences between the best and worst performers.
Making a Game of It
A number of companies have used gamification techniques to bring what might be an otherwise boring training module to life. Mothercare for example, created an online adventure using custom-made illustrations to teach health and safety procedures. It allows you to keep track of learner activity, reach out to remote locations and ensure each member of staff has a consistent experience.
Keeping Fingers on the Pulse
You can empower your employees with information on a day-by-day or minute-by-minute basis, by putting mobile devices into their hands. If they have access to real time inventory and customer data, they can service their customers in a highly efficient way from anywhere in the store. They don’t need to keep track of how many navy silk tops there in XL, and they don’t have to disappear off the shop floor to check. Your team will enjoy being able to give shoppers greater insight and have more confidence to approach them. It’s instant training in their pocket.