Make Your Retail Training Pay Off
Throughout my 30-plus years in the retail industry, I have heard plenty of reasons from retail executives and store operations leaders with regard to why they fail to invest in training their store-level employees. Frequently, their reasoning revolves around high levels of employee turnover in the stores and the fear that they will not receive a return on their investment. It is no wonder that most retailers invest less than $200 per year on training retail sales representatives and retail customer service associates.
But instead of worrying about spending money on retail training programs on employees who leave prematurely, retail store owners and operations executives should be asking asking themselves “What does it cost me if I do not train my employees?” Let's look at some of the answers to this question..
The Cost of Not Training Retail Employees…Lost Revenue and Profit
All you have to do is walk into a local specialty store, retail chain store, or big box retailer to see the results of failing to provide adequate retail training tools. Today’s retail store employees often lack the basic retail sales and customer-service skills that they need to be successful and that the retailer needs in order to retain customers. In fact, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are rife with complaints about poor retail service.
Additionally, recent studies by companies like Truaxis have shown that fewer than 15% of retail consumers are loyal to any one retail brand. That means that most customers are going to provide you and your team members with a very shoort leash. If retail sales representatives do no get it right the first time, the customer is highly likely to take their money somewhere else. Often that is a price-oriented competitor like Amazon or Wal-Mart.
The Benefits of Investing in Retail Training Programs
According to retail training experts, retailers can increase sales revenue by double digits while maintaining gross margin through properly implementing training programs at the store level. The truth is that there are few, if any, other investments that can pay off at this level without using excessive discounting or spending huge money on broad marketing. A recent case study from Retail Training Services bears this out.
Retail Training Services developed and executed a sales and customer service training program for a client with 200 locations and 750 store employees. While the total investment in the training program was significant, when broken down it amounted to only $35 per employee. The result has been an increase in average revenue of almost $100 per location per day in many locations. When you do the math, the client achieved a positive ROI in as little as two days! Even better, part of the program included a train-the-trainer program for the store managers so that they can execute the program on a go forward basis with new employees.
Building the Right Training Program For Your Company
There are many ways to develop and deliver training to your retail associates. These include on-the-job training, e-learning, training manuals, video training, and instructor-led retail training classes. The best training programs involve multiple training methods and retail training consultants such as Retail Training Services can assist you in developing and deploying your training program. .
Do you want to learn more about how you can implement cost effective training programs for your retail stores? Contact us for a free one-hour consultation and needs assessment!
- David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group. As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers. You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at www.retailertrainingservices.com.