How learning management systems can solve customer service problems in retail

John Sherman

For retail managers everywhere, the phrase “The customer’s always right,” is a common theme throughout the workday.

After all, without happy customers, how much of a market do you really have?

So when a store is trying to convince the shoppers of America to spend their well-earned dollars, they need be thinking about what it takes to make their customers happy.

For starters, and most importantly, customers expect to be greeted by a staff of employees that’s capable of treating them fairly and meeting their needs.

Unfortunately, however, retail customer service is rarely as flawless and helpful as shoppers think it should be. Instead, managers find their days riddled with questions and complaints, such as:

  • Do you know how long I’ve been waiting?
  • I talked to your employee and they had no idea how to help me with my problem!
  • Does your customer service department even know how to do their job?

These scenarios are some of the most common customer service issues that arise on a day-to-day basis…but what’s the common thread between them?

They all tend to stem from high turnover rates and poorly trained staff.

Many retail managers do not understand the ways that comprehensive training can benefit their business. Thankfully, a variety of learning management systems are available to help streamline the training process and ensure your staff is receiving the best instruction possible.

Learning management systems provide a fast-paced learning protocol that still promotes successful training and education in the workplace. The benefits from these systems have made them a preferred choice for retail locations all over the country.

To truly comprehend the advantages of these systems, however, it’s vital that you understand the negative effects of high turnover rates and how digital training can solve them.

How Does High Turnover Affect the Retail Industry?

Retail locations are fast-moving machines. Owners and managers have a multitude of behind-the-scenes components to think about on a daily basis. For everything else, they rely on their customer service department to get the job done.

An employer’s customer service staff will become the face of his/her store. This means an establishment’s success and reputation lie in the hands of this group of people and they’re expected to handle shopper interactions with ease and confidence.

In an article written by journalist Erica Nicole, she claims that companies which prioritize the customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors.

When a retail location starts to be affected by high employee turnover, its chances of providing the type of service necessary for success begins to diminish.

When managers begin to lose employees, they’re left frantically searching for replacements to fill the holes in the staff schedule. Every retail location requires a certain number of people to handle their particular business, and when that number begins to fall there’s no way to efficiently meet a customer’s needs.

To get themselves out of the bind, many managers are forced to spend large amounts of money and end up hiring under-qualified, or incapable, applicants. These new hires are then rushed out onto the floor before they’ve had enough, or any, proper training.

With conditions like these, it’s almost guaranteed that customers still won’t be receiving the top-notch service they expect and deserve.

Cost and Time: Two Common Side Effects of High Turnover

A constant cycle of employees coming and going can really leave retail owners in a lurch. Not only are customers themselves affected by the lack in high-quality employees, but also the business will begin to face the challenges of time and money needed to keep the business afloat.

Without the proper resources, high turnover can really damage a company’s success.

The Cost of New Hires

Did you know that retailers sometimes spend an average of $3,400 each time they have to find a new employee?

When you consider the steps involved in the process, it’s easy to see why:

  • Finding job applicants
  • Interviewing and hiring new employees
  • Training new employees

While there are certainly extraneous costs such as help wanted ads, travel costs for interviewees, and training salaries, management should also consider the fact that time is money during the hiring process.

Every moment spent on the steps to find a replacement employee is time that should be going into the business itself. After all, company time is a precious commodity that should be reserved for tasks to generate profits and expand the company’s vision and reach.

The Time Involved in Hiring & Training

The employment process affects company time in much the same ways as the cost.

Each minute in the workday should be geared towards growth, but setting aside the time for these hiring tasks consistently pulls owners and managers away from their actual work. This can eventually lead to damaging gaps in the business’ chance for success.

Other customer service employees are also affected since they are forced to pick up the slack caused from being understaffed. Rather than focus on their job alone, they end up doing the work of multiple people and being stretched much too thin.

How Can a Learning Management System Help?

Implementing a learning management system is any easy way of fine-tuning the employee training process.

Not only does it provide a selection of flexible and comprehensive course selections, but it also provides retail managers and business owners a laissez-faire way of handling new hire training.

Management will have the chance to spend more time on tasks that will benefit the business as a whole, rather than just the customer service department.

With learning management systems, however, it’s not just about new hire; you’ll be receiving a program that provides so many things, such as:

  • Ongoing education
  • Distribution of new policies and procedures
  • Ability to check-in and see employee training progress whenever you’d like

Learning Management Systems Can Help Eliminate High Turnover

When your staff of employees is well trained and confident about the work they’re doing, they will be more likely to achieve longevity within the company.  Many times employees decide or are asked to leave because they’re frustrated by their own inability or management’s disappointment in their work.

Learning management systems don’t stop working after a new employee has received initial training.

Providing your customer service employees ongoing training helps offer the tools needed to keep the workplace exciting and challenging.

At the end of the day, when your employees are happy with the work they’re doing, it means more overall success for the company. You’ll not only have a seasoned staff that knows exactly how to do their jobs, but you’ll also see the benefits reflected in your bottom line.


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