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3 Ways An LMS Can Improve Retail Training

Every business owner wants her customers to have a good experience, and this often comes down to retail training. In retail settings, helpful customer service is key in making sure everyone leaves happy.

Of course, anyone who has worked in retail can tell you that the job entails much more than living by the mantra “the customer is always right.” Even entry-level retail workers contribute to loss-prevention (retail industry code for discouraging theft), inventory management, and basic administrative tasks.

Poor retail training can undermine business in ways that go beyond the creation of frustrated customers. It is important that retailers invest in a thorough training process that covers not only customer service, but the full slate of responsibilities with which employees will be tasked. This isn’t always easy – and it won’t look the same for every company – but with a powerful and flexible learning management system (LMS), retailers can rest assured that their employees will become business drivers instead of business drags.

Poor retail training can undermine business in ways that go beyond the creation of frustrated customers.

Here are a few ways that a good LMS can help improve a retailer’s training procedures.

Key Training Materials at the Right Time

Especially for larger chains, retail training typically consists of a combination of a one-time manager-led session, tragically outdated and cheesy instructional videos, and text-heavy company policy booklets that no employee is ever going to actually read. Face-to-face training certainly has its place, but in reality this is no longer the most efficient – nor effective – way to prepare employees for the sales floor. By using an LMS that allows for customized learning modules to be accessed anytime, anywhere, retailers can guarantee that employees get the information they need both during orientation and beyond.

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Treating Each Employee as an Individual

In fact, the flexibility offered by many LMSs is a huge benefit unto itself. The average workforce includes a wide range of experience levels, meaning one-size-fits-all training is a recipe for inefficiency. With some LMS platforms, managers can create tailored learning tracks that cater to the needs of each employee. Some employees may have completed health and safety compliance training at another job, others may already have comprehensive product knowledge, and making any of them revisit material they already know is a waste of everyone’s time.

On-the-job Learning

While no one is going to dispute the necessity of formal training, research shows that retail employees only learn 10% of what they need to know during orientation. In retail – as in many sectors – on-the-job learning is queen. However, since this kind of instruction is difficult to plan, managers tend to ignore it altogether. Though picking up skills on-the-job will always include an element of spontaneity, certain LMSs have social learning capabilities that encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing by more seasoned employees. By leveraging these capabilities, retailers can foster a culture of collaboration that goes a long way toward building a knowledgeable customer service team.

Retail employees only learn 10% of what they need to know during orientation.

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