The execution of consumer-centric business strategies is heavily dependent on excellent retail skills. No amount of resources will ever replace the value of client servicing; the products, services or features of a business will be rendered useless if it is not supported by the right staff, which are essentially the face of the business.
However, there are a number of people who would argue that employee development schemes aren’t necessary due to the ever-growing landscape in the digital space, which has been deeply ingrained in the retail field. As such, multiple tasks can be achieved with a few taps and scrolls.
As the integration of new technologies and retail operations become increasingly valuable, is there still a need for retail training programs for employees? The answer is yes, because customers are not mere data to be monitored and analyzed in a revenue performance report.
They are also people that desire community engagement and meaningful human interactions, these are aspects that can’t be measured through numbers alone. As such, it is vital for employees to develop both hard skills and soft skills to showcase the core values of a business.
Let’s explore the key elements of retail training programs that are worth investing in.
A well-structured onboarding training program will get new employees up to speed with the company’s branding, vision, mission, culture and processes. The purpose of an onboarding training program is to get new hires familiar with the company's day to day working mechanics and the specifics of their role.
It will give employees a sense of excitement and belonging in the company which attributes to a positive work environment. Thereby, it may reduce the turnover rate within the company.
The ability to convert new customers into loyal customers is mainly rooted in excellent customer service. A customer’s impression of a business is strongly influenced by this role. Therefore, it is crucial for customers to receive a service that is consistently positive.
From dealing with customer complaints to highlighting a business’s key selling points, this is a position that involves excellent communication, attentiveness, emotional intelligence and problem solving skills.
A significant portion of providing exceptional customer service is being well-versed in the company's entire range of services and products.
To accurately and persuasively present the benefits of a product or service to customers, one must be knowledgeable about the nitty-gritty details of what they’re sharing. Employees can achieve this through programs that include quizzes or situational questions about the products and services.
The increment or consistency of a company’s revenue is linked to the amount of sales the team is able to achieve on a timely basis. For effective sales to be made, employees must be familiar with the right sales protocols for a business’s specific market.
They might need to sharpen their skills in upselling, cross-selling, social selling or consultative selling. Whatever the case may be, improved sales will generate a stable stream of revenue for a business.
This is a highly encouraged component in any retail training program. Employees should be informed on what measures to take in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as a fire, natural disaster, robbery or a customer facing life-threatening conditions such as a stroke.
They should be able to identify and use the tools needed to navigate these emergencies while staying as calm as possible to avoid mass panic. They should also be able to lead customers into safety during such events.
The learned skills, theories and strategies from the program will only become productive through active demonstrations on the job. In order for employees to hone their craft, they must actively do the work (with supervision) to the point it becomes second nature.
Employees will also appreciate the opportunity to rapidly access critical information without having to search through the company’s handbook or call multiple people in the company for assistance.
In conclusion, retail training programs acknowledge employees as key assets to the company. It paves the way for employees to grow and thrive in their roles, which ultimately brings more value to the business.