e-Commerce is changing the way that consumers shop -- and it’s never been more important for retail stores to provide top notch customer service.
The retail market is rapidly changing as e-commerce and brick-and-mortar continue to find new ways to create seamless brand experiences. In a 2018 report by Digital Commerce 360, it was reported that e-commerce represented 13% of all retail sales in 2017, and 49% of the growth.
But in-store experiences remain relevant, especially for customers who enjoy the human aspect of shopping and interacting with a brand. We sat down with Retail Manager Letitia Madden at Intersport to find out how she keeps her storefront relevant in the age of online shopping.
How did you start working with NewKnow?
A little over a year ago, NewKnow started working with our district manager to help streamline our training and education process with both new hires and experienced employees. We’ve always valued having a staff that is fully informed on our range of products and able to help customers find items that will best suit their needs and we were excited to find a product that made the learning process simple for our employees.
Can you describe your day-to-day at work?
I wear a lot of hats! Retail workers have to be ready to do a bit of everything! My work ranges from inventory management, to helping customers, to leading the sales floor, and, of course, training the staff.
How does NewKnow’s product play into that?
The product helps us empower our staff with detailed product knowledge -- without the training being repetitive and boring. In fact, we do about 3 to 5 training sessions a week and we’ve gotten great feedback! Of course, it almost goes without saying that it’s extremely helpful for us when we’re doing a wave of new hires as well. It’s definitely broadened the overall structure of our hiring process.
Have you seen a difference in staff performance?
We’ve had a very positive reaction from the staff, and honestly, we’ve seen an immediate impact in performance on the sales floor. A major challenge for us at Intersport is our enormous selection of products, and getting a handle of all the crucial product information, and relaying that to our staff! At the end of the day, we all need to be there to support the customers and help them understand our stock.
What is your approach to setting up the training modules?
The platform is very adaptable, so it’s easy to customize the courses to convey exactly what we need. We’ve noticed that you can set them up in a way that caters to all the different learning styles -- from reading, to taking a quick quiz, to video. Know your audience!
What are your thoughts on the state of retail today? How do you see it evolving?
It’s tough! I’m definitely very old school in how I approach customer service, and I believe that mentality is needed in the advent of online shopping. It’s crucial to provide that next level of customer service, and add value to customers’ lives. I’ve definitely found that there are people that still very much appreciate the human side of the shopping experience.
How have you adapted to changes in the industry?
The more seasoned employees have to lead by example in delivering a top notch customer experience. Younger staff members sometimes lack a certain level of openness required to give the best service, but we’ve found that detailed training is a great way to remedy that.
We choose to stand out by honing in on that “old school” personable customer service experience. We just want to have fun with our customers!
There’s no doubt that e-commerce will continue to have a huge impact on the retail industry. As a retail store, it will become increasingly vital to provide customers with personable, knowledgeable, and transparent customer service experiences. Staying competitive today means that staff training has never been more important.
To learn more about streamlining your staff trainings, click here.