When was the last time you discussed sales techniques or ideas for improving customer service with your team? Most shops in our industry have employees who have been part of the business for varying lengths of time, with some veterans and some newbies.
Regardless of their levels of professionalism or experience, however, everyone can use a little refresher now and then regarding interactions, conducting daily operations and understanding their roles in maintaining and growing the business, THE SHOP Magazine contributor Jhan R. Dolphin says in the February issue.
Additionally, a structured training program is often an incentive for quality people to stay with an organization. People who receive training and feel they are learning and growing with a company are much more likely to not only stay, but also gain the confidence to become more engaged with customers and invested in the products you offer.
Most business owners train new employees, Dolphin says, but that is often the last time any sort of structured development is conducted. Training, however, should not be limited to new employees.
Every business should develop some sort of ongoing and continuous training for all staff members.
Identify a few of the areas that drive you nuts as an owner and address them through training. Here are a few possibilities:
- How does your staff handle incoming customer calls?
- Is your staff skilled at showing new products to customers that could be added to the sale?
- Who answers email inquiries and how are they handled?
Putting a Program in Place
To get started, keep it simple and don’t try to make it too involved. Also, seek out information online and talk with others in the industry to see what type of training they’ve used and benefited from.
You might simply begin by getting your team together for a 30-minute meeting each week. Let your staff know ahead of time the topic to be discussed and ask them to bring related information and ideas.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs view employee training and development as more optional than essential—a viewpoint that can be costly to both short-term profits and long-term progress.
Whether you decide to conduct some ongoing staff training every week, each month or per quarter, any training is better than no training.