‘Tis the season to be jolly – and busy! Holidays are no doubt an exciting time in retail. But customers don’t see how demanding it is for stores to meet the increasing expectations of the busy season. This is where seasonal employees arrive just in time to save the holidays. But at the end of the day, customers don’t care how new your employees are. When they want to make an important purchase, customers continue to expect excellent customer service and well-trained employees.
There’s only a matter of weeks to train your seasonal employees and get them on the job to make an impact before their seasonal contract is up. eLearning is a time-saving solution to create effective training. Here we uncover some of the ways you can best prepare your seasonal employees while maximizing your training budget through eLearning. As an example, we’ll specifically refer to retail sales associates, but these tips apply to all the seasonal hires you might have in your organization.
Like we said before, the customer doesn’t care about how long your seasonal hire has been at your store. Customers rely on informed sales associates and excellent customer service when making purchasing decisions. So, your seasonal employee’s job is just as crucial to your store as the permanent employees’ when it comes to making the sale and encouraging returning customers.
But, to state the obvious, the reality is that the seasonal employee hasn’t had the amount of training your permanent employee has. Realistically, they are less informed with far less experience. The solution? Developing courses around the fundamentals of the job, things the customer cares the most about. Training seasonal employees on these impactful basics will help your seasonal hire better understand the best practices to carry out day-to-day that directly improve the customer experience. Mastering these basics will also give your employee the chance to build from a firm training foundation if the opportunity arises to hire them permanently.
These basics also reduce the chances of fogging their vision with the nitty-gritty details or other irrelevant verbiage we call “fluff”. These don’t necessarily drive impact on the sales floor, but they sound good. For example, training a seasonal sales associate on how to overcome customer objections will likely lead to more sales than remembering spec details of all the products. Get back to the basics so they can better serve your customers. HALIGHT’s L&D specialists can help you narrow down what your basics are, too!
Shadowing a fellow employee is one of the best ways a seasonal employee can ease into their job. Unfortunately, the opportunity to shadow experienced co-workers is becoming increasingly difficult. The rush of the holidays puts more demand on the experienced employee, and seasonal hires are required to carry more of their own weight right away.
The good news is there’s a way to get a similar shadowing experience through eLearning. eLearning can create simulated experiences. In the busyness of the holidays, it might become too demanding for an experienced employee to slow down their work or explain every step when dealing with a demanding customer situation. Instead of restricting excellent customer service, seasonal employees can use simulated experiences to get similar first-hand training without sacrificing the customer experience. HALIGHT designs realistic and cost-effective simulated experiences to develop your seasonal employee before they hit the “real world” sales floor.
There’s limited time to train new hires. We’ve already gone over the ways to develop your seasonal employees with the basics to make the most of your training. What’s the best way to stay focused on the absolute necessities? Micro training are bite-sized training modules that users can complete in just a couple of minutes. It gives them the necessary information in an effective way that will increase knowledge retention. With micros, seasonal employees spend less time training (more time selling) and getting just the right amount of info to make the sale without risking cognitive overwhelm.
But what about when a customer has a product-specific question? The seasonal sales associate hasn’t been at the store long enough to familiarize themself with all the products. So, they need training that will give them the information they need in a pinch. Micros are easy to access, and learners can get to the right information in a matter of seconds, not minutes. So, in a way, micros act like selling sidekicks and are there to assist the sales associate and educate the customer.
These portable-friendly and versatile micros give that same sales associate the product specs and key selling features right when the customer asks it. The seasonal employee will be happy to have a practical tool to help them close the sale. The customer will be happy knowing they are making an informed purchasing decision. And you’ll be happy knowing no time is wasted with long exaggerated training, so there’s more time to sell!
We hope these tips help you get the most of your seasonal budget and employees. We want to give you the gift of cost-saving training this holiday season. Give us a call to develop effective, efficient, and engaging content.
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