The Retail Industry has seen drastic changes in the last few years. Today’s new age customers are globally connected and gather needed information prior to visiting the outlets.
Customers want to be delighted and need expertise to help them in the purchase decision making. 80% of customers leave the outlet or do not make intended purchase because of bad customer service (American Express Survey).
More knowledge of the product range and brands will help retail sales staff promote products and provide better customer service.
It is clear that the success of Retailers greatly depends on Product knowledge and the customer serving skills of their sales staff and therefore, investing in effective training programs is essential for retail organizations.
But the challenge here is, retail staff is hard pressed for time and their absence from the shop floor for a long time will impact sales. Also globalization, decreasing training budgets and timelines add up to the training challenges.
So how do we deliver effective training to retail sales staff without getting caught in costly development cycles? This is where E-learning courses fit in. Let’s see how.
Uniformity in Training:
Globalization has become a key success factor for Retailers. Many Retail giants such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Metro, and Tesco et.al have global presence. However, it puts forth the challenge of maintaining consistency in training. The knowledge sharing in classroom training will differ from one instructor to other which results in inconsistency. Through E-learning courses, you can maintain consistency by providing the same learning materials and experience to the staff.
Save Time: In a retail setting, the more the sales person spends his time interacting with customers, the higher will be the sales. So the team hardly has time to attend classroom sessions. If it is organized after their working hours, it will be tiresome and impact learning. E-learning can help you impart training without disturbing the retail staff. You can make use of iPads or Tablets to help employees learn in their spare time while in the shop floor.
Application Level/Hands-on Training:
The training involves how to interact with customers, understanding their needs, and leading them to the products and finally, to the purchase. So, developing practical skills is important than loading them with huge information or creating awareness. E-learning facilitates using sound instructional approaches that offer hands-on learning. The approaches include scenarios projecting real-life situations and objections from customers, Case studies, Avatars and Videos to share the tips and guidelines.
Save costs: Given the tight budgets and busy calendars, investing in classroom sessions may not be a great idea. With e-learning, you don’t have to incur costs on trainer transportation and organization. Also, courses once designed can be deployed any number of times to train any number of employees. These development costs are one-time and help you save costs in the long run.
If it is classroom training, you need manpower to organize and administer training manually. This means you need to put your highest-paid managers or members on the floor which is not a good option. With e-learning medium, administration is made easy with the Learning Management System. The learners’ course completion status can be tracked and reports generated which can be used in decision making.
To meet the high standards and competition, retailers need to ensure that their staff is well-trained in assisting customers, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and sales.
What do you say? Do share your thoughts on the same.