Is Your Training Up to Scratch? Understanding the Importance of Staff Training and Why It’s Worth It!
In a competitive retailing arena, high standards are required to win and retain customers and have them recommend your business to others.
Tech and training
Well trained and motivated staff, allied to the use of efficient modern technology that can maximize retail transactions by gathering valuable customer data and accurately track inventory such as modern POS (Point of Sale) systems, is the key to effective customer relationships and successful retailing.
Customer service is a fully-fledged professional skill – and investing in it by way of training for your customer facing staff is important.
Poor staff equals poor sales
People will be put off by a poor customer experience, and this is often down to inadequate staffing ability. Basics such as thorough knowledge of the products on sale and being able to handle queries are expected by ever more discerning customers, as is a certain standard of staff demeanor. For example, even if it’s quiet in the store, staff looking bored, listless and uninterested will put visitors off and take them feel a little uncomfortable looking round.
Poor staffing can certainly have a negative effect on reputation: visitors will actively discourage their friends and acquaintances to visit the same store, and this‘negative PR’ can take powerful hold and spread quickly via channels such as social media and online forums.
Whilst training your staff properly may involve some investment, it will certainly pay off in terms of not only increased sales but in avoiding the consequences of lost business and a poor reputation.
Valuing and motivating your staff If it’s clear you care about your staff, and want them to be as effective as possible in their jobs through comprehensive and regular training, they will feel more valued and understand they have an important part to play in the success of the operation.
In turn, they will work harder with an increased sense of responsibility – and likely with more confidence – through being equipped with skills and knowledge.
For example, thorough training in product knowledge helps staff members deal with customers more efficiently, which increases their sense of professionalism and helps them take more pride in what they’re doing.
Valuing their role
Shop floor staff are at the frontline and all the money spent on advertising and store decor counts for little if staff aren’t handling customers properly or are missing opportunities through inefficient training.
Maximising profit – training staff – in not only knowing how to maximize sales such as, for example, through up selling and cross selling techniques but also in illustrating why it’s so important to boost profits – is key.
They’ll understand how much extra income regular up or cross selling can yield so be more inclined to use these techniques when dealing with customers.
Tech training – being properly trained in how to use equipment such as tablets and in store display panels to show short presentations promotes professionalism, and showing staff how to use POS systems and the value in doing so helps to motivate them.
If a staff member understands why it’s so important to capture customer data at the point of sale – better customer knowledge means increased sales and revenues – they’ll be motivated to learn and use it properly.
Investing in people
Systems, marketing and your retail environment’s ‘look’ and feel is an important expense – but then so is proper training and valuing your front line staff; the personal interaction is what the customer is likely to remember most of all.
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