As online shopping continues to overtake the once stable industry of brick-and-mortar retail sales, stores are experiencing a hiccup in the amount of day-to-day foot traffic that they see. Employees are beginning to feel demotivated and unfulfilled in their jobs as they struggle to make sales and money. Standing around all day waiting for customers is not only creating excess boredom among store clerks but is also affecting their customer service. Discontent among sales associates translates to sour attitudes when dealing with shoppers.
As the retail industry continues to change, customer service stands as the last front separating Internet sales and in-store retailers. Even among competing brick-and-mortar retailers, the difference between high- and low-quality customer service can spell the end to a storefront. Customers remain loyal to their favorite stores based on exceptional and amiable service and knowledgeable and professional staff.
So then, what is the best way to boost your store employees’ customer service? The answer is training! Store associates who have learned how to interact with customers in a happy, helpful, and professional manner will improve both store sales and their own retail relations. Retail sales training enables consistency and engagement that enhances the customers’ buying experiences and creates overall sales success.
Retail Sales Training Consistency
When a loyal customer returns to their favorite store, they expect to receive the same level of quality service as they have received every other time they’ve come. They may even ask to speak to a specific sales clerk with whom they’ve built a professional rapport. Customers seek out consistency in their retail interactions.
Therefore, it is crucial to have consistency on the sales floor. Improving your store’s retail sales training enables that uniformity. Bringing every associate to the same performance level will ensure that no customer is receiving subpar service. Great customer service needs to be delivered every day by everyone, and the best way to promote this is through continuous and scalable training courses.
For example, Bloomingdales has an onboarding and development course called “Selling The B-way.” It teaches the policies, procedures, and tools for client service that selling professionals should utilize on the floor. They have a similar course called “Coaching The B-way” for managers that teaches how to coach and lead employees towards consistent customer service. When you go to Bloomingdales, you should have the same service whether you are in the women’s shoe department or the men’s coats department. Implementing a similar series of courses into your retail departments’ training would guarantee that all employees are delivering the same level of service throughout the store!
Online retail sales training especially enables this consistency. Utilizing an online platform ensures that every selling professional sees and learns the same methods and procedures, producing the necessary store uniformity. Online training can be easily accessed through any number of devices—cell phones, tablets, desktop and notebook computers, etc. By updating your training procedures, you will never again have to worry that some employees are missing their training courses.
An employee who is content in their work is a better salesperson. Customers who come into your store are looking for someone with a cheerful disposition who can offer a friendly and helpful hand. Customers want to be able to relate to the sales assistant, not face a bad-tempered or defeated employee. While it’s not possible to teach an employee to love their job, it is possible to teach them how they can feel rewarded and fulfilled in their work.
Even training does not have to be a long, drawn-out, tiresome process. Using an online retail sales training program can be fun! Incorporating interactive games, multimedia graphics, videos, and role-playing scenarios and encourage positive behaviors in your employees. They’ll be more engaged with the training material and, when it comes to interacting with a customer, they’ll be able to apply that same engagement to their sales.
It can teach practical and valuable techniques that selling professionals can use to retain and gain clients, so the slow foot traffic won’t seem so daunting. They’ll learn to approach every customer in a unique and professional way that’s attuned to the customer’s needs.
An updated retail training program can also teach new skills that may not have been previously utilized, like phone orders or clientele tools. Online courses can teach newcomers and seasoned associates alike the preferred sales processes of the company. This could as simple as encouraging employees to smile and greet shoppers or as complex as teaching the ins and outs of store stock, pricing, sizes, or about whatever a customer might ask.
The goal is to prepare sales associates for any range of requests from a customer. Only then will the buyer return knowing that your store’s employees are knowledgeable and capable of handling their needs.
Retail sales training can also demonstrate the importance of the sales professional to the overall success of the company. On the sales floor, the bigger picture oftentimes gets lost in the day-to-day. Applying updated training courses helps to teach not only a variety of skills but also how to utilize the skills for personal success.
Employees are more engaged when they feel as though they are contributing to the larger organization. Retail sales training can build this larger, organization-wide perspective of how sales is a crucial contributor to financial success. When salespeople succeed, everyone succeeds.
Consistency and engagement are crucial to great customer service on the sales floor. In a changing industry, continuous retail sales training creates this coherent message and builds employee engagement that will continue to boost sales and service. By updating your retail sales training to an online platform, employees will be able to develop a uniform set of skills in an easily accessible manner from anywhere and at any time.
Implementing a series of online courses will bring a boost to your employees’ overall job satisfaction and store profits. Investing in training is an investment in your employees and your business.
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