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Constant training and daily learning is the key to deal with the post-Covid world

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The pandemic has not only changed how companies view business, but has also given them a lot more time in hand to train their employees better. Shah Virchand Govanji Jewellers has made the most of this opportunity by turning to online training for a comprehensive confidence-building exercise, which aims at dealing with the customer and prevailing situations in the post-Covid world.

At a time when most companies are cutting down on their workforce to keep their profit margins intact, Shah Virchand Govanji Jewellers has utilised the otherwise-idle time well. They conducted a month-long online training session for their 100-member staff between April and May. The one-of-a-kind session focused on building the confidence levels of its sales staff and interpret the psychology of the consumer.

Speaking about the importance of training session, Ketan Shah, managing director of Shah Virchand Govanji Jewellers, said, “We have  three showrooms in Gujarat with almost a 100 employees. Eighty of them are front-end workers. In these challenging times, employees must know how to gauge the psychology of customers. Besides, young customers have more knowledge and clarity about what they want to buy because they do a thorough research online before visiting the showroom. The staff has been trained to quickly catch on to what the customer wants and  show them the exact piece.”

Knowledge begets confidence

The training was conducted in Gujarati and Hindi. Akash Prem Jain, principal adviser at APJ Advisory, said, “There were two basic components of the session: the product part and the soft skills required for sales training. “

Jain believes that confidence comes from a vast knowledge about the product. “The lack of knowledge shows up very easily in poor body language,” he said.

If the staffer is not sure about a product, they try to gloss it over with street smartness. This  reflects poorly on the brand. A well-informed consumer loses confidence in the dialogue.  Therefore, we dived into product training and the back story of its origin.”

In order to acquaint the participants with the product they sell, an in-depth training was given for each category. For example, for diamonds, it is ordinary to cover the 4Cs, but this module also covered the mine-to-market story. “Today, the consumer is equally interested in the back story. Keeping up with the evolving consumer’s need for information, we showed them multiple videos of the mines and explained the mining process,” says Jain.

He believes that knowing the back story creates an opportunity for the staff to pique a consumer’s curiosity and direct him towards buying diamonds.

Shah brings out another scenario that is a direct effect of the pandemic. The demand for gold has gone down due to the high prices, and weddings are getting postponed. Jain says, “During the training, we focused on finding ways to convince our customers to buy gold even though the rates are high, or upgrade to diamonds.”

Dealing with reality

Shah also pointed out that customers are well aware about their needs when they come to shop for jewellery today. “ The sales staff needs to match up to this level of awareness and confidence that comes from thorough online research.”

Shah said, “Keeping the pandemic in mind, a few sessions were also devoted to the safety measures to be taken, and how to interact with customers in the post-Covid world.” The front-end staff were given sales training and also taught how to talk to a customer after Covid passes. A separate session on Covid safety was also conducted.”

Attendance was made compulsory for the training days and the participants were asked to keep the video on to keep a tab on them. People not focusing were called out immediately.

Gearing up for everyday learning

“In our trade, buying patterns and consumer behaviour change quite fast, so training becomes crucial,” reiterates Shah. Jain also believes that retention capacity is a problem. As a result, it becomes important for retailers to ensure that there are regular sessions to keep the employees up-to-date with relevant information.

A strong believer in the importance of continuous training, Shah is already planning a learning and development department with sole focus on training.

“The markets are upgrading continuously, so it’s important that we also upgrade ourselves to be inw sync with the times. Training helps solve that problem. It improves the skills required to deal with customers,” says Shah.

 

Courtesy: As Published in The Retail Jeweller India Magazine

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