You are the owner of a retail store or local restaurant and you are lucky enough to have dependable employees. Business is doing well and you are going to be bringing on two new associates. The other employees have been with the store for quite some time, and training hasn’t been a focus because you felt like everything was running smoothly. So now with the new employees coming on board you will have an opportunity to not only train them, but also give your current staff a little boost in the training department. But what should you focus on? In a retail store there are so many important aspects of the business, but if you train on these 3 areas you and your employees will be in good shape.
- CUSTOMER SERVICE – A friendly smile when a customer comes in the store, being helpful, being patient, finding out the answers when maybe the associate himself doesn’t know the answer – these are areas that make up strong customer service. Go through your expectations with your new employees – how you expect them to handle themselves when dealing with the customers. Setting expectations up front is important to do starting on day one. This way your employees will represent your store the way you want them to. And this goes for current associates as well. This is the perfect time to remind them of what exceptional customer service means to you.
- PRODUCT – It’s important that your associates feel knowledgeable when it comes to the products you sell. Whether it is where in the store they are located, whether it’s actual technical information on the products, whether it’s sizing information, there are so many facets in this area depending on what type of retail store you have. But the bottom line is, depending on how extensive your products are this may be an ongoing training process and certainly pertains to current employees as well. Without this product knowledge, your employees will feel incapable and in turn your customers will not get the information they need.
- TECHNICAL – make sure your associates are comfortable using your cash register, tablet or however you ring up customers. Small errors when charging customers can grow to have a negative impact on your bottom line. The customer experience is also hurt when they are dealing with an employee who is unable to use your equipment.
In the retail industry product knowledge, and operational knowledge are important, and those skills coupled with exceptional customer service will make your staff ready to face any situation. Train accordingly and feel the ease of knowing that your staff can handle any situation, any time.