Human Skills or Soft Skills Training - Why is it Necessary for Retail Professionals

Whether you have a small store or a retail chain, making sure that your staff is equipped with all the necessary skills should be your priority.
Human Skills or Soft Skills Training – Why is it Necessary for Retail Professionals

If there’s one thing that you can’t expect the success of your retail store without, it has to be good customer service. Not only does good customer service increase your sales but it also encourages customer loyalty. However, to make sure that you offer your customers excellent service, you will have to ask yourself this question – do my employees have all the necessary retail skills? If your answer is ‘no’, then you need to consider retail skills training for your team.

Why Retail Staff Training is Important

Whether you have a small store or a retail chain, making sure that your staff is equipped with all the necessary skills should be your priority. This is the only way to offer excellent customer service and improve the overall performance of your business by:

  • Increasing sales
  • Positioning you as an industry expert
  • Improving employee morale
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Establishing brand loyalty
    Hence, you must offer retail staff training to your employees at regular intervals. Here are a few skills you must ensure the training consists of:
    Soft Skills – Right from when the customers enter your store to when they leave, the treatment they receive during their visit to your store decides if they will visit again. Hence, all your employees must be trained in effective soft skills so that they can ensure a good customer experience. In fact, soft skills training should be mandatory for sales representatives because persuading customers to spend their money requires some really good people skills. So, make sure the soft skills training program you choose for your team includes training on:
  • Leadership Skills
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Active Listening Skills
  • Attention to Detail
  • Time Management and Flexibility
  • Resilience
    Patience and Empathy – These two skills can take the performance of your staff from 0 to 10. A patient and empathetic retail employee really puts themselves in the customers’ shoes and understands what they want. And if your employees are able to successfully do that, they can win over any customer.   
    In a retail store, you may find customers of all types. Some may try on 100 products and still not understand what they’re looking for. Some may take things extremely slowly which may frustrate your employees who may have 10 other customers to help. This is the reason your team should be patient because no matter the kind of customer, great customer experience should be your priority.
    Moreover, your staff should be trained to develop empathy so that they can genuinely help the customers without hurting their sentiments. For example, if an overweight customer insists on trying out a dress that would look flattering just on skinny girls, the in-store shopping assistant must be able to convince them that the attire isn’t a right pick for them without making them feel bad about their body. 
    Excellent Product Knowledge – Excellent product knowledge can very often help your team members close sales. And the lack of it can definitely cause them to lose some customers forever. Imagine a scenario. Karen walks into your store knowing very well what she’s looking for. However, she requires additional product knowledge and approaches one of your staff members. The representative attending her tries to answer the question but fails to do so because they do not have sufficient product knowledge. Unfortunately, Karen leaves your stores and heads to your competitor’s. Now that’s a lot of pressure on your staff members. Don’t you think?
    So, instead of replacing the employees who may not have sufficient product knowledge, invest in training them. You will certainly notice the sales going up.
    A Great Attitude – The right attitude is usually intrinsic. And it is something you should look for in the candidates when you’re hiring for your retail store. Nevertheless, you must try to train your team to develop it since it dramatically influences the success of your store. Ask yourself if you’d go to a store again if you found the representatives unwelcoming or unwilling to help. Certainly not, right? So, conduct attitude training within the premises so that your team can offer excellent customer service and close more sales than ever. 
    The success of your retail store depends on how skilled your employees are. So, make sure that you offer them top-notch people/soft skills training from a great trainer. Check if the trainer is certified from a recognized soft skills training and image consulting institute. Also, talk to them about the kind of projects they have undertaken in the past. Deciding which trainer to go with may take time but you will be able to make sure that you get maximum return on investment.
    Author Bio:
    An award-winning Image Management Professional, Suman Agarwal has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need of image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options. Write to her at to seek advanced career guidance.
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