3 Ways Retail Sales Training Dictates the Customer Experience
Loyal customers are five times as likely to make a repeat purchase and four times more likely to refer the brand. – Qualtrics
Retailers often think about their retail sales training program as an entity that only affects one group of people: their sales associates. They couldn’t be more wrong.
How your sales associates interact with customers as they shop in your stores directly influences their experience in the store. These experiences, if consistent over time, will increase the positive sentiment towards your brand and lead to loyal customers.
Remember, loyal customers, are more likely to buy more and to refer people to your business. These actions directly increase your revenue and should incentivize you to invest in training your in-store employees.
Preparing your employees to delight your customers is arguably the best investment you can make for your in-store experience. If done correctly, your training program could lead to loyal customers who return often.
Here are three ways your retail training determines how your customer feels about your brand and how to maximize the opportunities it creates:
Customers Respond to Relationships
First impressions are important. What may be less obvious is the importance of employee training in preparing sales associates to make that impression.Your application process will help you determine which prospects will make approachable and professional employees. However, you need to ensure you go beyond raw potential and shape employees into top-notch sellers.
Training usually focuses on learning product information and job specifics, but it often doesn’t spend enough time on the theories around customer service.
Making customers feel like they matter and like they’re connecting with a real person is more complicated than it sounds. If employees aren’t trained to make customers feel this way, they won’t be able to do it in real-life interactions.
The key is to simulate customer interactions in training, so your trainees can practice working through common scenarios before they happen.
Role-playing in training is effective. However, face-to-face role-plays are not always possible. That’s why our microlearning tool, Bigtincan Zunos, allows these simulations to happen quickly and easily.
With Zunos, you can use video coaching capabilities to enable employees to practice scenarios in their downtime. They practice and send the results back to store managers or floor coaches to review and provide feedback.
You can also set up “chat-style” quizzes that let trainees work through pre-written customer interactions and demonstrate their customer service abilities.
To make it even more convenient, they can do it all in just a few seconds from any mobile device.
Customers Expect Consistency
Brand consistency is crucial in retail. Customers want the same experience in New York as they get in San Francisco. That said, this consistency across many different locations is not easy to achieve. It requires your employee training to be standardized and personal.Employees must possess an in-depth knowledge of the products they sell.
Customers expect store associates to know more than a standard Google search. Standardization makes this possible.Innovative, modern, learning platforms enable content creators to create rich learning experiences easily. These bite-sized pieces of training are available on their desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
These learning platforms allow your sellers to use the downtime on the selling floor to continue training without leaving the floor, and potential customers, unsupported.
Customers Remember Interactions
Today’s customers want the reliability of big brands while also having access to the approachable customer service for which small and local businesses are often known. This need can be achieved by training your associates on the expected selling behaviors and approaches.
Employee training should ensure as much information retention as possible, but according to research by Gartner, 87 percent of training is forgotten within 30 days. This knowledge loss creates an ever-present challenge for businesses.
Innovative, integrated training helps your staff know their products inside out. When they occasionally can’t remember details, they should be able to access them easily without having to search through catalogs or wait for answers from co-workers.
In retail, customers expect to see floor staff carrying smartphones or tablets. Employees should always have the information the customer requires at their fingertips.
When employees have the answers, customers feel confident, and happy, with their in-store experience.
The Future of Retail Training
Once your organization has access to the best methods of retail training and development, you will see the many benefits of innovative, integrated employee training.
Excellent training keeps employees motivated and raises morale, leading to lower staff turnover and reduced time spent recruiting.
Better training leads to improved customer experience and, ultimately, to the better overall performance of both the employee and the company.
Bigtincan’s Retail Enablement Platform allows you to give customers the best possible experience. It equips your associates with the tools and training to succeed in every customer interaction.
CEO & Founder at WordWell Creative