According to research from Deloitte, retail workforces are increasingly made up of Generation Y employees. This generation has new expectations that training managers need to be aware of:
They expect more feedback than other generations
They expect a greater level of technology in the workplace
In the coming market of Gen-Y dominated talent, Retail businesses need the technology and processes to engage, develop and retain the best employees. Likewise in the customer space, as the Baby Boomers ease into retirement and their spending power falls, Gen-Y becomes the predominant buying group.
They expect speed (think instant support, same day delivery)
They expect convenience (think on their smartphone on the bus to work)
They expect information (think transparency in pricing and path to market)
They expect exceptional (think shopping experiences that WOW)
For many Retailers, these expectations represent a significant shift in the way they do business. In order to bridge the gap between where they are today and where they need to be, Retailers have to do two things:
Go to market with innovative product and service offerings
Ensure the performance of employees delivers on customer expectations
At xapiapps, we’ve been working on technology to help manage employee performance. Our experience working with many retail organisations has helped us highlight the areas required to focus on to achieve customer satisfaction in today’s market:
In the digital world, information is just the click of a button away. Shoppers now expect to deal with well-informed Retail staff. It’s essential that your whole team have adequate product, service and organisational knowledge to be able to inform, build trust and sell to customers.
Customers want instant satisfaction. Instead of tolerating excessive service times, shoppers will just go elsewhere. Whether it’s speed of service, proactively connecting with customers, multitasking, or any number of skills, employees need to be able to deliver efficient service in a busy retail environment.
Gen-Y is often labeled as the ‘me, me, me generation’. Given their preoccupation with their own well-being, it’s more important than ever to cultivate an attitude of customer first. From eliciting the needs of the customer, to offering tailored and personalised service, putting customer satisfaction first is fundamental.
The reality is, today’s Retail shoppers have an abundance of choice. Gen-Y shoppers (digital natives) are very comfortable shopping from their tablet in front of the TV. So if you want shoppers to keep coming back, you’ll need to provide an exceptional shopping experience. This means your employees need to be engaging, exhibiting skills such as developing rapport, active listening, empathy and more.
Mixing the skills of product knowledge, efficiency and customer focus, selling needs to be solution-orientated. Of course employees need selling skills (upselling, cross selling, etc.), but the focus should be on the benefit of the customer first. With the proliferation of information available online, if your employees recommend a solution that is not a great fit for your customer, it won’t take long for your customer to find out. And that customer won’t be a customer for long.
As a training manager, you might be wondering how you can measure these performance metrics accurately – especially when these skills are performed in the context of a fast-paced retail setting. Fortunately mobile technology is evolving to help training and performance evaluation happen where it’s needed: in-the-field.
To find out more about the opportunities new technology is creating for training managers in the Retail space, download our free eBook below: