Training is easier said than done. Let us know some challenges and their solutions.
It is widely accepted that properly trained retail staff deliver high customer service and higher value sales to their employer but training the retail staff is no easy task, these are some highlighting reasons;
1. Training of the staff requires you to invest, which in turn results in involvement of high costs.
2. Staff revenues are usually high, so the training has to be repeated at regular intervals to ensure new staff has access to training. Also staff needs to be trained when some new technology or product is introduced.
3. Training results in reduction in duration of working hours of the staff.
4. Though some exceptions exist, retail staff does not have an academic background and are not used to formal learning. Any training they receive must be appropriate to the way they are used to learning.
5. In large organizations, retail staff is spread widely across the country. Centralizing training, by bringing staff together, is expensive and impractical. Similarly, it is simply not effective to send trainers to each and every store. Meanwhile, management is generally centralized and needs to have accurate and timely reports on the effectiveness of all training.
6. Finally, employers are looking to keep the overall cost of training as low as possible.
For these reasons, traditional class-room based teaching methods are neither apt nor efficient.
In consultation with a number of large retail outlets, Sales 101 has developed the Sales Master TM Managed Solution - an innovative approach that overcomes the numerous problems associated with training retail staff. The chief highlights of this service are:
1. The provision of frequent learning “interventions", delivered in stores as part of their normal routine
2. Learning interventions are interactive, fun, focused on outcomes and have a low time overhead.
3. Staff learns 'on-the-job' with minimal time away from the shop-floor.
4. Activities are usually themed around a particular learning outcome and can include a range of training resources including games, posters, physical resources, on-line materials and other activities
5. All learning-outcomes are agreed in consultation with the client and can range from teaching technical knowledge (e.g. how to process refunds in EPOS) through to customer service and sales skills
6. Learning outcomes can be aligned with the NVQ (Level 2 or 3) Retail Sales allowing staff to achieve nationally recognized qualifications from their training
7. In some cases, training can be funded by the Learning and Skills Council which means that training can be provided a little or no cost
Impact of training
As per Ateeb, manager of Timberland, “Training is very important in product knowledge and technology. Moreover, trained staff treats customers properly and lead to customer satisfaction”.