Training to be the best

retail
By retail May 27, 2020 11:05

Training to be the best

In an age where competition is cut-throat and customer expectations are sky-high, retailers are shifting focus from product skills to customer service skills.  Krishna Krishna Jewellers finds an innovative solution to train his staff to deliver ultimate five star experiences.

Well-trained employees are an asset to any organization, but when it comes to a jewellery retail outlet, it is absolutely imperative that the staff members are focussed, trained, efficient and highly skilled. Jewellery being a big-ticket purchase, even a one-time sale is very important, and the staff’s attitude and communication skills can make a big difference between a hit and a miss.

Raman Jethi, Director of the Panipat-based Krishna Krishna Jewellers, understands the importance of trained staff, and has taken many steps to ensure that his employees are among the best in the country. “Whenever I used to travel outside the country, I would observe the working style of the employees of retail outlets. I was very impressed with the way the staff members used to deal with customers, and I decided to give my own staff the best training possible,” he says.

Even though Jethi’s staff was quite experienced, he was not satisfied. “We had already invited trainers from Forever and Divine Solitaires to train our staff with regard to sales and product knowledge, but I felt it was not enough. I wanted to transform my employees and make them customer-friendly,” he adds.

That’s when he came to know about Dr Hari Shankar Shyam, a motivational speaker and corporate trainer, and immediately roped him in. Dr Shyam conducted the first training session for Krishna Krishna Jewellers in December 2018, and since then, he has held two more sessions.

Jethi says the training has been immensely useful. “Currently, I have three showrooms and almost 46 people in my organisation, holding various posts. Although most of them are experienced and I had no issues with the number of sales they were notching up, teamwork was missing. I also felt that something was not right in the way the staff was interacting with customers. Every customer nowadays wants to be made to feel special whenever he/she steps inside the showroom. So, it was important to train the staff in this aspect also.”

Approaching the matter very methodically, Jethi first prepared his employees mentally, before starting the first session. The company had several employees who had been with it for 15 to 20 years, and many of them felt they knew all they needed to know. Typically, employees who have been with an organization that long are resistant to change and reluctant to learn new things.  So Jethi decided to send his entire staff to a five-star hotel for a party in Delhi. The next day, he asked them for their feedback and how they felt. Nearly all the employees said they felt like a king. Jethi says he latched on to the word “king”, and told his employees they too should make their customers feel like royalty.

Sharing details of the training module, Jethi says, “It was a one-day training programme, from 10 in the morning to five in the evening, conducted in mall town showroom in Panipat. The staff members were trained to read the mind of customers, and serve them with a smiling face. They were also given tips on how to forge long-term customer relationships with their customers, so that they come back for repeat purchases. Besides, they were told never to differentiate between customers based on their social status, age, etc. Another learning imparted was that regardless of whether customers make a sale or not on that particular occasion, they should still treat them like royalty.”

 

The training was very useful, and after just two sessions, there was a discernible change in the working style of the employees, reminisces Jethi. Before the training programme, the staff would often get impatient with some customers, but now, they handle them very professionally.  Moreover, the staff would seek his help and ask him to mediate while dealing with a difficult customer, and even call him for help if he was not physically present in the showroom. Such intervention is rarely required now, says Jethi.

“Now, I have peace of mind, and even when I am travelling, I don’t have to worry about how things are going at the store. In fact, I was so impressed by the transformation of my staff that I decided to organize the training programme every six months. I am also planning to extend the scope of the training. The way I assess the performance of the staff is that before a customer leaves the counter, s/he should ask for the name of the salesperson. If a customer does not do so, I feel that particular salesperson has not been able to satisfy him/her,” declares Jethi.

retail
By retail May 27, 2020 11:05
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