In the retail industry, your front-line associates make the biggest impact on the customer experience journey and it is important that they are provided with the right skills and product knowledge to make a positive lasting impression.
As the economy gets tough and competition increases, taking your front-line associates off the store floor for a day or more of training is no more a viable option for most organisations.
With this in mind, here are 5 innovative ways to ensure your front-line staff are always up to date with the latest offerings.
1. Use social media
Take advantage of the various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to deliver product information to your staff. Encourage them to follow your own company and that of industry experts to keep up to date with the latest offerings. The reality is that is exactly what your customers are doing! Your customer experience will be negatively impacted if a client knows more about your product and industry trends than your own team.
2. Embrace digital learning platforms
These are exciting times. Never before has technology provided so many dynamic learning opportunities that help satisfy today’s modern learners. Embrace platforms that allow users to access learning any time anywhere using any mobile device. These platforms can also be used to push critical organisational messages to your associate’s mobile phones with a quick click of a button. Along with providing bite size learning, some digital platforms also provide a repository section for all product process documents that provide associates with 2 click 10 second access to information at a time of need.
See how award-winning platforms like Axonify can help you.
3. Short experiential learning sessions
We are definitely not saying training sessions are a thing of the past. There is high benefit gained from having peers come together to discuss key learnings, success and stucks. Creative ideas are often generated when people collaborate. So rather than completely eliminating traditional classroom learning, make sure to re-design your sessions to be short, interactive and fun! Don’t talk at them for an hour about the features, advantages and benefits (FAB), let them experience the product first hand and decide for themselves what the FAB of product x is. There’s a famous Chinese proverb that says “Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”
4. Share customer success stories
Success stories are often collected by the marketing team of an organisation to create an awareness within their customer base and generate more revenue and attract new business. These success stories should also be shared with your staff to help them understand your customers and what really makes a difference to them. If you have an opportunity to interview a customer, ask what their fears and doubts were about a particular product and how did a store associate handle the transaction to build confidence in the product. These are vital learning moments that can be quickly shared to all store associates using any existing online channel like email, yammer etc. and really doesn’t cost a lot to create.
5. Daily morning huddles
Running morning huddles can be an effective way of accelerating communication, making people feel accountable, connected and aligned with the organisation’s goals. A daily morning huddle is chance for you to share information about new products, sales and also an opportunity for team members to share information with each other. The agenda of the huddle is for you to create but remember to keep your daily huddle short so people can quickly get to their daily work and with a feeling of being equipped with the necessary information to do their job and connected to the overall goal of the organisation.
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