When working with retail, you know that your employees drive your business success. They’re the ones who win over your customers and keep them coming back.
In 2021, there were roughly 15.7 million people employed in the retail industry in the United States, yielding a powerful impact on the economy. Therefore, it’s important to keep a close eye on how your retail staff deals with customers and the technique it uses to close a sale.
With just ‘on-the-job’ training, it can take a very long time for your employees to learn how to successfully deliver top-notch customer service. You can accelerate the process by introducing a retail training program that is designed to sharpen your employees’ skills and help them develop the essential skills for great customer interactions.
A retail and development training program has its own set of unique challenges, but it is very important to implement one if you want to give your employees the hard and soft skills they need to do their job well and see return customers. Below we share some of our best tips to develop a successful retail training program to get their best practices and increase productivity and revenue.
Identify Your Training Program Goals
Before you launch your retail training program, ask yourself, “What and why am I doing this?” If you don’t have any goals to set, you’ll never know how to measure your progress.
Employers offer training to employees to help them develop new skills, learn new processes, or acquire new tools. Set learning objectives based on the skills and knowledge your employees need to be more efficient and successful.
One good example of a retail training goal is, for instance, to have a new hire fully onboarded and on the floor within 10 days of the hire date. Other examples would be to maintain a 90% customer satisfaction rate for staff interactions or to boost monthly sales by 20%.
As soon as you establish your goals, and what you currently have on hand, you should continue to develop the content and materials for your new training program.
Use a Mix of Learning Tools and Methods
If you’re looking to effectively train your retail workforce, use multiple methods of training to ensure your employees internalize the information. If you are training your employees on how to use apparel software, then it is best to show them the program in person and then send them how-to videos they can refer back to.
This type of software will help them understand how they can supervise product design and its development, and manage the cost. They’ll also be able to see how the software keeps records about the raw materials, production, purchases, customers, and demand.
If you are training your staff on customer service you can teach them verbally about the company policies. Reinforce this information with handouts and videos, and then role-play all of it.
Engage Training Through Role-Play
Retail sale is a dynamic field. No two days are the same. One day, you might be helping a sweet lady find the perfect scarf for a dinner with her family, but the next day, you may be verbally abused by a customer who is angry about a damaged item. This is why you should prepare your employees for the possibility of everything.
Customer-focused role-playing is the best way to build confidence in your employees and help them with daunting or challenging circumstances which may arise.
Role-playing is an excellent training method, especially when it comes to sales. It can be the magic formula when you want to bring your sales training to life and it may just be what makes your staff ‘get it’. Role-playing helps crystallize your employees’ training through repetition and practice. It also helps them when they are looking for ways to improve their skills.
Prioritize Product Knowledge
A salesperson who doesn’t know what they are selling can be easily detected by customers. If your new employee has never been your customer before, then brand and product education must be given priority.
You can ask them to try on the latest arrivals in your clothing or shoe store so that they can comment on sizing and fitting. If you run a gift shop, ensure that they can recommend the right products when asked for advice by a customer. This activity is not only one of the most fun parts of training but it also helps your staff engage strategically and hopefully sell more.
Run a Pilot and Measure the Results
You can run a pilot retail training program with a small group to see what they think. Pay attention to the timing and what works and what doesn’t. Also, observe how your group reacts when you use your technology and content. Take lots of notes and ask for feedback from your staff.
Last but not least, you should evaluate the effectiveness and results of your program after it has run. Look at the completion rate, see if the learning objectives are being retained, and if your staff is using what they learned. Revisit those key KPIs and measure your program’s success, and don’t be afraid to make necessary changes and updates along the way as it will make the training program better and more effective.
Developing a successful retail training program encourages employee happiness, productivity, and retention. These tips will not only help you to achieve that but, in turn, it will also create satisfied customers and boost your bottom line. So, make sure you identify your training program goals, use a mix of learning tools, prioritize product knowledge, and then measure the results.
Arnab Dey is a passionate blogger who loves to write on different niches like technologies, dating, finance, fashion, travel, and much more.